Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan once again tried to deceive the international community by his speech at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Jan. 24.
Hajiyev said that the main injustice in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or as the Armenian leadership called it, the “deficit of justice”, is primarily the occupation of sovereign territories of Azerbaijan and ethnic cleansing against more than one million Azerbaijanis in the occupied territories and violation of their all fundamental rights.
Despite the fact that Armenia took obligations on the conflict’s settlement when becoming a member of the Council of Europe, it has not fulfilled them yet, noted the spokesman.
“Taking into account that the Council of Europe is responsible for the formation of a single legal area among the member-states, Armenia, as a member of the Council of Europe, continues to occupy the territory of other member of the Council of Europe – Azerbaijan,” he said. “To change the recognized borders of other country, by using force, or making attempts to occupy its territories, is unacceptable. I would like to hope that the Council of Europe’s leadership will raise these issues, as well as the issues about the rights of all Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced people, whose fundamental rights, envisaged by the European Convention on Human Rights have been violated, before the Armenian leadership,” he said.
“The entire international community is aware about Azerbaijan's just position on resolution of the conflict and this position is supported. Azerbaijan's position is based on the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, the norms and principles of international law, the Helsinki Final Act. The Armenian community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan together with the Azerbaijani community can use the right to self-determination within the borders of Azerbaijan.”
Hajiyev stressed that as an integral part of the step-by-step process in order to achieve progress in resolving the conflict, first of all, Armenian troops must be withdrawn from the occupied districts adjacent to the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, and opportunities must be created for the further actions.
“This is the only possible and real solution to the conflict,” he said. “In this way, the confidence of Azerbaijan as a side that has been subjected to the aggression and occupation must be ensured.”
He reminded that in August 2017, OSCE MG co-chair Richard Hoagland in solidarity with other co-chairs announced about the step-by-step actions that must be taken to resolve the conflict. Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also made a statement about the step-by-step solution to the conflict.
"Armenia's claim for solving the complicated Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict with one document is utopia, and nothing more,” he said, adding that this is an excuse not to settle the conflict.
"The fact that Armenia targeted civilians throughout the line of contact with heavy weapons in April 2016 once again reminded us of the pain of the Khojaly genocide, in which the Armenian president personally participated. The counter-terrorism measures of the Azerbaijani armed forces prevented the provocations and attacks by Armenia against civilians.”
He further added that the fact that the 1988 Sumgait events were organized by the USSR leadership, the State Security Committee of the USSR and the Armenian SSR State Security Committee was proved in an investigation carried out by the USSR General Prosecutor's Office and repeated by the Azerbaijani General Prosecutor's Office.
“The organizer of the Sumgayit events and their perpetrator Armenian Eduard Grigoryan was mysteriously released from prison in Armenia and presently, Armenia's leadership knows where and under whose special protection he is. Crimes committed in Sumgayit were investigated and its participants, including Azerbaijanis, were severely punished. No crime committed against Azerbaijanis in the territory of Armenia, in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, including the Khojaly genocide, which is a crime against humanity, has been investigated. Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Armenian leadership still tried to deceive the international community and distract attention from the profound political, economic and social problems in Armenia,” he said.
"The Armenian leadership should finally understand that the sooner the conflict is settled, the sooner the Armenian population will be able to benefit from the opportunities of the regional cooperation."
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.