Details added: first version posted on 14:52
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 7
Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations (UN) Yashar Aliyev sent a letter to the UN Secretary General regarding the ongoing aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, Trend reports.
The letter said that on July 12, 2020, the Armenian armed forces, grossly violating the norms of international law and using heavy artillery and mortars, launched an attack in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district.
In the following days, Azerbaijan's densely populated villages of Aghdam, Dondar Gushchu and Alibeyli of the Tovuz district were shelled, the letter reads.
"As a result of the Armenian aggression, a 76-year-old resident of Aghdam village Aziz Azizov was killed. Moreover, 12 soldiers and officers of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces were killed, numerous Azerbaijani citizens were injured. Serious damage was caused to civilian objects in Tovuz district," wrote the Azerbaijani representative.
The letter said that the purpose of these malicious actions of the Armenian armed forces is to expand aggression, gain control over heights on the territory of Azerbaijan, and thus create a threat to Azerbaijani settlements, as well as oil and gas pipelines of strategic importance, including those in the immediate vicinity to the military escalation zone (at a distance of 15-25 and 10-12 kilometers, respectively), the Southern Gas Corridor and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
"With this act of aggression, the Armenian leadership is trying to divert the attention of the Armenian public from the deepening economic, financial and political crisis in Armenia due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic," the letter said.
The attack of Armenia on Azerbaijan was undertaken after provocative statements and actions of the official Yerevan against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Aliyev stated adding that it’s enough to revisit some of these statements, which are vivid examples of the constant aggressive policy of a UN member state.
He noted that back in 2013, then Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, when asked whether the armed forces of Armenia can strike first, answered as follows: "I don’t rule out anything, because the doctrine of using the armed forces to defend the country envisioned a number of measures, both defensive and preventive ones."
Aliyev also reminded that former Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, in his interview in August 2014, threatening to launch short-range ballistic missiles at large cities of Azerbaijan said: "The Azerbaijani leadership is well aware of the resources available in the arsenal of the Armenian armed forces. They know very well that we have effective ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers at our disposal, which can turn any prosperous settlement into ruins like Aghdam."
On September 21, 2017, the former Chief of the General Staff of Armenia, Lieutenant General Movses Hakobyan, admitted that "we really need more territories to better ensure the security of our republic," the letter of the Azerbaijani representative to the UN read.
The letter also quoted Lieutenant General Levon Mnatsakanyan, who was a leader of Armenian occupation forces at a press conference on July 24, 2018 and was threatening to launch missile strikes on the civilian infrastructure of Azerbaijan and saying that "This is part of our tactical plans. In general, in case of resumption of hostilities the ability to conduct combat operations requires striking these targets, as well as military targets. This will damage the economy of the enemy and prevent adequate supply of the armed forces. I do not see the need for this yet ... but if the need arises to hit these targets, we will hesitate not a second."
The author of the letter also refers to the statement made by Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan on March 30, 2019.
"As Defense Minister, I declare that it was me who presented the format of the territory in the name of peace. We will do the opposite - a new war for new territories. We will get rid of this situation, of the situation of constant defense, and we will admit into the army units that can fight on enemy territory," Tonoyan said, the letter reads.
Two days prior to the July 12 attack, Armenia adopted a new national security strategy. This strategy confirmed the policy of aggression and annexation, the letter emphasized. During a phone talk to the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk on July 13, 2020, that is, the day after the attack, Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan threatened to take new positions.
The letter further reads that even the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic did not prevent Armenia from committing armed provocations.
"It's obvious that Armenia's statement that it allegedly supports the call of the UN Secretary General for a global ceasefire as well as its adherence to this call is a lie," the letter said. "Undoubtedly, Armenia's goal is not to save those in need and alleviate their suffering, but to expand its policy of aggression and annexation."
"Instead of preparing the population for peace, the current leadership of Armenia continues the annexation policy of its predecessors in word and deed. With the recent escalation, Armenia is challenging the negotiation format and disrupting the peace process, violating the norms and principles of international law, distorting the essence of the UN Security Council resolutions and other documents on the settlement of the conflict," Aliyev pointed out.
The letter also said that with the provocation, Armenia is prolonging the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, consolidating Armenia's military presence in these territories, as well as change them from demographic, cultural and physical points of view.
"Such actions have nothing to do with a peaceful and agreed settlement of the conflict," the diplomat wrote. "Azerbaijan has repeatedly drawn the attention of the international community to the fact that the ongoing aggression of Armenia and its illegal presence in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan are the main causes for the war and the repeated escalation of the conflict on the site."
"We regularly declare that Azerbaijan, as a country suffering from the occupation of its territories and the forced resettlement of hundreds of thousands of its citizens, is most interested in an early and long-term settlement of the conflict," Aliyev stated.
"However, Azerbaijan won’t passively wait and stand by idly; Azerbaijan will adequately respond to the provocations and the violation of the ceasefire caused by Armenia," the letter said.
The armed forces of Azerbaijan, in order to repel the recent armed attacks of Armenia, took necessary countermeasures aimed at ensuring the safety of the country population, neutralizing the fire and support points of the Armenian side, forcing it to stop acts of aggression and an attempt to take the situation under control, said the letter.
"The determination and courage of the armed forces of Azerbaijan once again demonstrated that Azerbaijan will not tolerate the violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, will not reconcile with the occupation of its territories," Aliyev wrote. "Unlike Armenia, Azerbaijan acts exclusively within the framework of the right to self-defense in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international legal practice."
It would be appropriate to stress again that aggression and its military consequences are not a solution to the conflict and will never lead to the political results that Armenia is striving for, the letter read.
"The settlement of the conflict is possible only on the basis of the norms and principles of international law with full respect for Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Azerbaijan does not consider it possible to resolve the conflict outside this framework and participates in the settlement process on the basis of this conception," the diplomat concluded.