Baku, Azerbaijan, July 6
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
On July 4, 2017, Armenia's armed forces illegally stationed on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan targeted the Alkhanly village within the Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan with artillery fire, Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the US said in a message.
According to the embassy, Armenia's military action resulted in two civilian deaths. Several homes and civilian infrastructure were also damaged in the attack.
Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijani ambassador to the US, condemned Armenia's latest violation of the ceasefire regime and the regrettable loss of Azerbaijani lives.
The ambassador reiterated Azerbaijan's rejection of Armenia's false claims.
"Armenia's military action was deliberate and intentional and a violation of the ceasefire regime,” the ambassador said. “The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense has condemned this violent action and reiterated that there were neither military installations nor Azerbaijani firing positions located in the Alkhanly village to warrant such a provocation.”
“This tragic incident shows once again that the status quo of illegal occupation is not sustainable and continues to result in civilian losses,” Suleymanov added. “Unfortunately, Armenia continues to reject Azerbaijan's call for substantive peace negotiations."
In response to the incursion, the OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, France and the Russian Federation, issued a generic statement on July 5 that called upon Armenia and Azerbaijan to cease military action. Armenian media interpreted this statement as a sign of "indirect encouragement" and justification for Armenia's violent actions, the message said.
Armenia's direct and deliberate attacks against the Azerbaijani civilian population and civilian objects, constitute a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the message said.
According to the message, this provocation takes place in the context of recent visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to the region, when the Co-Chairs and international organizations called for changing the status quo of the occupation by substantive and serious negotiations.
Armenia's continued provocations are seen as a reaction to Azerbaijan's efforts to promote regional cooperation and to contribute to Europe's energy security.
The Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan has repeatedly brought the international community's attention to the fact that the primary reason for continued tension and incidents in Nagorno-Karabakh and the lack of a resolution to the conflict are due to the unlawful presence and militant actions of the Armenian armed forces that occupy Azerbaijan's sovereign territory.
Azerbaijan remains committed to achieving a peaceful resolution to the conflict and working with international partners, such as the Minsk Group, to move forward in this process.
On July 4 at about 20:40 (GMT+4 hours), the Armenian armed forces, using 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and grenade launchers, shelled the Alkhanly village of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district.
As a result of this provocation, the residents of the village Sahiba Allahverdiyeva, 50, and Zahra Guliyeva, 2, were killed. Salminaz Guliyeva, 52, who got wounded, was taken to the hospital and was operated on.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.