Armenia must end annexation policy, withdraw occupying forces from Azerbaijan's territory (UPDATE)

Armenia must end annexation policy, withdraw occupying forces from Azerbaijan's territory (UPDATE)

Details added, first version published on 19:29 (June 2)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 2


Armenia must put an end to the policy of annexation and withdraw its occupying forces from the Azerbaijani territories, this is inevitable, Spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend on June 2.

The international community expresses support for the principles of inviolability of borders, sovereignty and territorial integrity on high-level platforms. An example is the speech of the EU vice president at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Abdullayeva noted that events taking place in the modern world, including the COVID-19 pandemic, clearly demonstrate that there is a need for peace within which states will rely on international rules, respect the norms and principles of international law and this will allow the spirit of international cooperation to develop.

“In particular, COVID-19 has openly shown the importance of state borders, the need for each state to ensure the security of its population within internationally recognized borders. It is no coincidence that the EU’s senior government official from such a high-level platform as the UNSC speaks of a world order based on international rules and emphasizes that relations with the countries of Eastern Partnership are based on principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and also refers to the Helsinki Final Act 1975 where these principles are reflected,” said the spokesperson.

Shortly before this, the final decision of the EU Council on the Eastern Partnership referred to these principles reflected in the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris, and these principles were listed in a series of joint EU commitments, she added.

“Specifically, in our case, this is a reflection of Azerbaijan’s constant position, which it voices regularly. The position of the head of state, voiced, including from the highest international platforms, clearly emphasizes the importance of supporting the norms and principles of international law, in particular the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. Our country also demonstrates this position during the negotiation process with the mediation of the co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said Abdullayeva.

"Our position isn't to change, it is fundamental. However, the decisive position of the international communities is a message for some states that violate international legal obligations,” said the spokesperson.

Leyla Abdullayeva noted that the position of Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the provocative actions of Armenia in relation to so-called "elections" or the so-called "inauguration ceremony", as well as on other illegal activities, is voiced regularly.

“On May 28, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in his speech at the opening of the Gobu Park-3 residential complex erected for internally displaced persons (IDPs) made it clear that all international organizations support territorial integrity of our country, including all the leading countries of the world. The so-called "presidential elections" held in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region, once again demonstrated this,” Abdullayeva noted.

“Leading countries of the world and international organizations have openly stated that they recognize neither these so-called "elections" nor their results. They stated that Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijani land. In his speech about the process of resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the head of state noted that a document on a phased settlement of the conflict is on the negotiating table,” the spokesperson stressed.

“The head of state noted that the goal of resolving the conflict is the full and irrevocable guarantee of sovereignty within internationally recognized borders. We have always stated that the goal of negotiations on settling the conflict is to put an end to occupation, liberate the occupied territories, and return IDPs to their homes, restore their rights. As the head of state said, no one should doubt that we will achieve this goal,” emphasized Abdullayeva.

As for the negotiation process on settling the conflict, the ministry’s spokesperson noted that Azerbaijan is the most interested party in an early settlement of the conflict, and speaks from the position of holding thorough and substantive discussions towards a phased settlement of the conflict.

“The current situation on the global pandemic should not interfere with the settlement of the conflict, on the contrary, it should intensify efforts towards the earliest possible provision of peace and security in the region. Because, the sooner the conflict is resolved, and the states, in accordance with international law, will respect the internationally recognized borders, the faster we will be able to talk about the progress of our independent and developing region,” she added.

“Thus, the fact that Armenia must put an end to the annexation policy and withdraw the occupying forces from the Azerbaijani territories is a necessity. As the Azerbaijani side has repeatedly stated at the highest level, this conflict can only be settled within the framework of the territorial integrity of our country,” stressed Abdullayeva.

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, 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 the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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