Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
If you have been working in the media for a long time, you have seen a lot and you always have something to compare with.
Six years ago, Armenia promised to commission an airport in the occupied Azerbaijani city of Khankendi, in May 2011. Then Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that he would be the first passenger on the plane, which would fly out of Khankendi. Khankendi airport was officially put into operation on October 1, 2012 and since then it was never used.
History proves futility of President Sargsyan’s promises on one hand and Armenia’s initiatives on the other hand.
Fast forward six years later, and we again observe the attempts of the Armenian side to launch flights from the Khojaly airport in the occupied Azerbaijani territories under the guise of tourist flights.
Here special attention should be paid to two questions. Don’t international negotiators see that Armenia constantly provokes Azerbaijan and does everything to stall the peace process? How will it affect the security of uninformed tourists, who are often tricked into visiting the occupied Azerbaijani territories without even stamp in their passports?
It is obvious that operating of such flights is another violation of the law, which can be dangerous for passengers.
The International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO regards the Khojaly airport as an Azerbaijani infrastructure facility with the appropriate code.
Azerbaijan, which is the legal owner of the airport, has banned any take-off and landing at the Khojaly airport. That is, it is necessary to obtain the relevant documents and confirmations from the ICAO for the operation of the airport. Armenian separatists, recognized by no one in the world, can not obtain them.
It means that using of the airport by someone else is unsafe for unfortunate tourists fooled by the Armenian separatists.
These are not just words. The Khojaly airport is located in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region occupied by Armenia. According to the law on "Aviation", this territory was declared by the Azerbaijani State Civil Aviation Administration as a zone banned for civil aviation flights.
There is great tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The compliance with the instructions of the dispatchers of one country can be mistakenly interpreted by the air defense forces of another country. Taking all this into account, it is obvious that tourists shouldn’t risk in such an unsafe situation for the sake of doubtful pleasure of flying over ruins in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
According to the international law and international community’s recognition, the Nagorno-Karabakh territory, including the air space over it, belongs to Azerbaijan, as well as the right to allow or ban take-off and landingof any aircraft at any Azerbaijani airport’s runways, including the Khankendi airport.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service