Armenia a serious threat to regional peace, security: Azerbaijan (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 14:07)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 26
Continuation of Armenia’s war against Azerbaijan and occupation of its territories in breach and complete disregard to the norms and principles of international law, not only violates the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, but also poses serious threat to the regional peace and security, says a joint statement of Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan, issued July 26.
“With a view of ending the conflict and ensuring the peace and stability in the region the withdrawal of armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is an absolute inevitability,” says the joint statement.
According to the statement, the armed forces of Armenia by using heavy weapons continue in an intensive manner to violate the ceasefire and perpetrate provocations along the line of contact and the state border of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The armed forces of Armenia alongside with the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan deliberately and systematically shell civilians and civilian facilities in inhabited areas, says the statement.
“It is very well known that on July 4, as a result of such brutal actions of the Armenian armed forces, 51-year-old resident of the village of Alkhanli of the Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan Sahiba Allahverdiyeva and her 2-year-old granddaughter Zahra Guliyeva were killed, and 52-year-old Sarvinaz Guliyeva was seriously wounded, which was strongly condemned by the international community.”
The joint statement says that on July 25, the Armenian Armed Forces used a military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) against the Azerbaijani army, dropping projectiles filled with incendiary and explosive substances, as well as metal fragments, onto the Azerbaijani armed forces’ positions on the line of contact near the Tartar District.
Further intensification of Armenia’s provocations in June and July are not sporadic, and isolated acts are being committed in a deliberate and systematic manner against the background of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ visit to the region, meetings for resolution of the conflict and serious calls by Azerbaijan, OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the international community to re-engage in substantive negotiations, says the joint statement.
At the same time, such ill-intentioned actions of Armenia are accompanied by politically motivated provocative steps, according to the statement.
“Regardless of international community’s rejection, holding fabricated “presidential” elections by the sham “parliament” of illegal regime established by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is yet another vivid proof of that,” says the joint statement. “Thus, chronicle of events once again proves that when Azerbaijan with the support of the international community makes further efforts to resolve the conflict through serious negotiations, Armenia resorts to provocations to undermine the negotiations, to maintain the status quo of occupation and intentionally escalate the situation. Such actions of Armenia, as it was the case before, have to be rejected and condemned by the international community in strong and serious manner.”
“Despite the efforts of Armenia’s false propaganda machine, irrefutable facts demonstrate that Armenia and its armed forces conducted aggression against Azerbaijan and occupied its territories, and perpetrated ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijani population in the seized lands,” says the joint statement.
The armed forces of Azerbaijan take and will take all necessary measures to prevent the cruel provocations of Armenia and guarantee the security of Azerbaijani civilian population inhabiting the vicinity of line of contact, according to the statement.
“We over again declare that the responsibility for committed provocations and consequences of continuation of occupation lies completely on the Republic of Armenia,” says the statement.
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.