BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 9
Armenia's refusal to provide maps of minefields [of Azerbaijan's lands, liberated from Armenia's occupation in 2020], is a serious problem of post-war period, head of Azerbaijan’s Embassy in France Rahman Mustafayev said at a hearing with rapporteurs of the working group on the Karabakh war, set up in the French Senate, Trend reports referring to embassy's Facebook page.
During the hearings, Mustafayev spoke about the main challenges of the post-war period: de-mining and restoration of the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, reconciliation of the two countries, building trust between the communities of Karabakh and the integration of citizens of Armenian origin, as well as the technical mission of UNESCO.
He stressed that at the moment the most urgent problem is the clearance of Azerbaijani territories, however, the Armenian side refuses to reveal the maps of minefields, violating all international conventions and rules of war. As a result, after the end of the war, the Azerbaijani side continues to suffer losses - as a result of a mine explosion, 20 civilians and 7 servicemen were killed.
According to Mustafayev, after all major wars since 1945, the belligerents have always exchanged maps of minefields with each other.
“These are the requirements of international conventions, in particular the Mine Action Treaty of 1997 and international law. This was also the case after the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947– 1948, 1965 and 1971, the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973 and the wars in the former Yugoslavia in 1995,” he reminded.
“After the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988, minefield maps were provided to the Afghan side. However, Armenia refuses to provide the maps, and the French press doesn’t write about it," the diplomat added.
Answering the question about the status of Karabakh, the diplomat noted that this issue has already been resolved. Clause 1 of Article 7 of Chapter 2 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan clearly reads that ‘the Azerbaijani state is a democratic, legal, secular, unitary republic. Azerbaijan is a unitary, united, indivisible country’.
This principle is also supported by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions of 1993.
"Citizens of Azerbaijan of Armenian nationality living in the zone where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is stationed, will have the same rights and obligations as other citizens of the country. Similar principle of "a single and indivisible territory" is fixed in the French constitution, and the norms of the basic law are no less important for Azerbaijanis than for French citizens," the ambassador added.
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.
Following over a month of military action to liberate its territories from Armenian occupation from late Sept. to early Nov. 2020, Azerbaijan has pushed Armenia to sign the surrender document. A joint statement on the matter was made by the Azerbaijani president, Armenia's PM, and the president of Russia.
A complete ceasefire and a cessation of all hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were introduced on Nov. 10, 2020.
Following the liberation of its lands, Azerbaijan from Nov. 2020 started carrying out operations on clearing its lands from mines, booby traps, and various weapons left behind by the Armenian troops.