Details added; first version published at 11:54
BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 21
The provocation committed by Armenia on July 12 in the direction of Azerbaijan's Tovuz in the Azerbaijani-Armenian border was pre-planned, Assistant to Azerbaijan's President - Head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said, Trend reports.
Hajiyev made the statement at a press conference on July 21.
“The provocation committed by Armenia was aimed at diverting attention from the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, aggravating the situation on the border and endangering the region, involving third parties in the conflict, damaging the international success of Azerbaijan, the East-West Transport Corridor, bringing the region face to face with new environmental threats," Hajiyev added.
He stressed that this provocation also aimed to occupy new territories, to gain certain advantages on the border, to divert attention from the problems in Armenia and to avenge the defeat of Armenian armed forces in the April battles of 2016 and during the Gunnut operation in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in 2018.
"Armenia has not achieved any goals, the Azerbaijani army prevented this attack by Armenia, it received a worthy response. The responsibility for this act of aggression lies with the political regime of Armenia," the assistant to the president said.
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.