Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 8
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
The Armenian side must understand that the continued occupation of Azerbaijani lands, the physical presence of the Armenian armed forces in these areas are a major threat to the process of conflict settlement and peace and stability in the region, spokesman for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry Elman Abdullayev said Sept. 8.
He was commenting on Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian's statement made during a joint press conference with his Austrian counterpart.
"The support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of Azerbaijan's borders and a call for the settlement of the conflicts in the South Caucasus as part of these principles were expressed in a statement, adopted by the presidents of the NATO member-states following the summit, held in Wales on September 4-5," Abdullayev said.
"This again shows that the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of Azerbaijan's borders are supported by the world community," he said. "Nalbandian's position directed against a decision taken by NATO member-states shows the hopelessness of Armenia's position."
"While doubting the decision of NATO member-states, Armenia once again openly shows disrespect for the principles of international law," he said.
He stressed that in a manner peculiar to the Armenian leadership Nalbandian calls on the international community to break the rules and principles of international law.
"Instead of recognizing the occupation policy and its termination, Nalbandian tends to confuse the Armenian society and to poorly justify Armenia's diplomatic defeat," he added.
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 two countries 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.