Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: Commissioning of Khojaly airport to harm peaceful settlement of conflict
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 8 /Trend M.Aliyev/
Step towards the commissioning of Khojaly airport in Nagorno-Karabakh is dangerous, violates international law and harms the peaceful settlement of the conflict, Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said at the press conference.
All international companies, operating in Khojaly airport, must immediately stop their illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Abdullayev said.
"Otherwise, the Azerbaijani side will take the appropriate steps," Abdullayev said.
According to the information, some international companies, cooperating with the Armenian side, install their equipment in Khojaly airport in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Abdullayev said.
He added that, one of such companies is a joint French-German company Thales.
"Khojaly airport has big symbolic meaning for the Azerbaijani people. The airport was occupied on February 25, 1992, and immediately after that, the Armenian armed forces destroyed Khojaly city and committed genocide against its people. The commissioning of the airport by the Armenian side is disrespectful to the memory of those Azerbaijanis, killed there and outraged displaced persons," Abdullayev said.
Armenia's intention to commission the airport in Khojaly is seen as an attempt to preserve the status quo, and every flight from the airport shows the continuation of Armenian aggression.
Earlier, Armenian media reported about the commissioning of the airport in Khankendi.
Commissioning of an airport in Khankendi is an open violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation [signed in Chicago on Dec.7, 1944], Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov believes. Therefore, Azerbaijan will intensify work in legal sphere on applying the Chicago Convention.
Azerbaijan has banned the use of the airspace of Nagorno-Karabakh occupied by Armenia, as no one can guarantee flight safety in the area, the head of the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration, Arif Mammadov said.
He said Armenia's steps directed to the operation of the airport in Khankendi are attempts to violate international legal norms. This air space belongs to Azerbaijan, so its use by Armenia is impossible.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Civil Aviation Conference (ICAC) also support the position of Azerbaijan on this issue.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.