BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 14
Armenia seeks to involve military-political organizations, member of which it is, into the Karabakh conflict, through military provocations, and avoid responsibility for occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan, Assistant to Azerbaijan’s President, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said in an interview with Russian Lenta.ru news website, Trend reports.
The assistant to the president stressed that the armed forces of Armenia created provocative actions in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district and grossly violated the ceasefire regime.
"The Armenian soldiers were the first to start [the attack], using their artillery, but this attack was rebuffed by retaliatory fire and counter-offensive measures. Violation of the ceasefire clearly indicates that the responsibility for all this is on Armenia,” he said.
“The actions of Yerevan contradict the legal documents of the international organizations of which it is a member. Moreover, it seems to me that Armenia seeks to escalate the long-standing military conflict amid aggravation of its own socio-economic problems," Hajiyev noted.
According to him, one of the reasons of COVID-19’s wide spread in Armenia is the destructive policy of the country's leadership.
"The creation of tension [by Armenia] on the border will distract from [its] internal problems, whilst our country is against such tensions. In order to prevent the provocations, our border services and armed forces have been strengthened,” he said.
“I want to add another fact: on July 12, we noticed the movement of heavy military equipment and manpower in Armenia to the border with Tovuz [district]. We regard this as evidence of the Armenian side preparing the artillery attack in advance. But eventually, Armenia failed to capture any areas," Hajiyev said.
The assistant to the president stressed that Baku is always ready to suppress provocations and eliminate similar incidents that could lead to the creation of tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
"On its [border’s] significant section along the Gazakh and Tovuz districts, the Azerbaijani state border service units are deployed. The Armenian side, on the contrary, continues to systematically militarize the state border between the two countries and deliberately shoot at [the districts’] civil population,” he said.
“As you know, a serious conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been ongoing for 30 years after Armenia occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts. Our [and Armenian] armed forces are still standing there face to face, resembling the scenarios of the First and Second World Wars, when 100,000 soldiers stood face to face. All these facts suggest that a battle [between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces] can take place at any time. We should ask the Armenian side whether we should expect new provocations, since they're the ones who occupied our lands," Hajiyev said.
The assistant to the president reminded that on July 13 Iranian, Russian and Turkish foreign ministers expressed their concern [over the mentioned events].
“We thank these countries for being indifferent to the irresponsible policy of Armenia. Our neighbors understand that the situation in the world is already unstable, and in the case of a new [Armenian-Azerbaijani] war outbreak, the war will affect them as well,” he also noted.
“Armenia commits thoughtless actions, not caring about their consequences. Azerbaijan is always ready to resolve this issue peacefully, and we always show our initiative. We always discuss issues with the OSCE representative and do not want to distract the attention of other countries, whilst Armenia is very interested in attracting other regions to its provocations," Hajiyev said.
The assistant to the president also stressed that the role of Russia in resolving this issue is very big.
“We greatly appreciate this [role], because the leadership of the Russian Federation and personally President Vladimir Putin take the necessary steps. But, unfortunately, the Armenian occupation and provocative steps prevent to resolve the issue peacefully. We appeal to the entire international community to hold Armenia accountable. Armenia proves that it’s not interested in peaceful resolution of the issue. This aggressive policy of Armenia threatens a number of other countries," Hajiyev concluded.