details added (first version posted at 17:48)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Armenia's subversive and provocative actions on the eve of the upcoming meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Switzerland December 19 are aimed at aggravating the situation, Hikmat Hajiyev, the spokesman for the Azerbaijani foreign ministry, told Trend Dec. 18.
"Armenia's actions are aimed at violating the negotiation process by any means, preventing the progress in the conflict settlement, preserving the instable and unacceptable status quo," Hajiyev said.
"The Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents met in Paris on the initiative of French counterpart Francois Hollande in November 2014," he said. "Following the meeting, Yerevan carried out the large-scale military exercises involving 46,000 servicemen and 5,000 units of equipment in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan with a view to commit a provocation. As a result, Armenia provoked the incident with the helicopter."
"A meeting was held at the level of foreign ministers with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen in New York in September 2015 and the meetings of the OSCE Ministerial Council were held in Belgrade," he said. "The Armenian side once again resorted to the provocations during these meetings. These provocations led to the intensive violation of the ceasefire on the contact line and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border."
"The presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied Azerbaijani territories is a major obstacle in the conflict settlement and exacerbates the situation," he said.
"First, the Armenian armed forces must be withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and refugees and internally displaced people must return home safely to resolve the conflict and restore the lasting peace in the region in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council," he said. "As an invader, Armenia is responsible for this situation."
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.