Pashinyan's comments on decision of International Court of Justice - another Armenian wishful thinking - MFA

Politics Materials 24 February 2023 00:23 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 24. The comments of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan dated February 23, 2023, regarding the decision of the International Court of Justice are inversely related to the decision of the court and are another attempt by the Armenian side to pass off their dreams as reality, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, Trend reports.

The ministry stated that Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan's statement that the court had registered a claim for the closure of the Lachin-Khankendi road does not match in any way the text of the court's provisional measures verdict. Moreover, the court's decision does not mention that the road is closed.

"It is regrettable that the prime minister, who could not accept the rejection of Armenia's two main claims that the protests held by a group of Azerbaijani eco-activists on the Lachin-Khankendi road were allegedly "organized by the government of Azerbaijan" and "Azerbaijan interrupts the supply of gas and other utilities (for example, electricity and Internet)", started to distort the court's decision on this issue," said the ministry.

The ministry also said that commenting on the issue of Azerbaijan's responsibilities on the Lachin-Khankendi road, the Armenian PM seems to have misunderstood the provision of the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020, that the Republic of Azerbaijan guarantees the safety of the movement of citizens, vehicles, and cargo along the Lachin-Khankendi road in both directions. However, according to the ministry, the guarantee of traffic safety on the Lachin-Khankendi road by Azerbaijan should not be perceived as a possibility of abuse of the road, and the Azerbaijani side has repeatedly stated that it will not allow this to happen.

"In general, in terms of the ungrounded claim that the International Court of Justice allegedly granted Armenia's petition, it should be noted that the Court's provisional request is not identical to Armenia's request, and the Court's conclusion is that instead of "ensuring uninterrupted traffic ..." Azerbaijan should "use all available measures at its disposal," said the ministry.

"At the same time, the court did not accept Armenia's claim that movement on the road should be "free" and provided for "all" persons, cargo and vehicles. Thus, the Court further supported Azerbaijan's position and rejected Armenia's demand that movement through the Lachin-Khankendi road should be carried out "freely", that is, without any control, as Armenia claims," the ministry added.

The ministry said that in its decision, the Court took into account that Azerbaijan has taken and will take all steps at its disposal to ensure the safety of traffic on the Lachin-Khankendi road within its powers, as well as the country's efforts to fulfill the conditions of the trilateral agreement of November 10, 2020.

"The statement of the Armenian prime minister that distorts the Court's decision on mines illustrates that the Armenian side continues to disclaim responsibility in this matter. However, the Court hearings once again showed that Armenia's reports to international organizations that they do not manufacture or install mines are based on lies," said the statement.

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry added that the Court’s decision not to revisit its prior conclusion that Armenia’s placement of landmines does not meet the requirements for the issuance of provisional measures is not a decision on the merits.

Furthermore, it was noted that this decision of the Court does not exempt Armenia from responsibility for the placement of mines and booby traps on the territory of Azerbaijan, the transportation of mines manufactured in 2021 to the territory of Azerbaijan by abusing the Lachin-Khankendi road, as well as for the failure to provide real maps of mined territories. In general, the Azerbaijani ministry noted that the Court will consider the issue of the mine threat separately on the merits.

The Azerbaijani side has repeatedly stated that the use of the Lachin-Khankendi road should be legal and transparent, and abuse of the road should not be allowed. As part of these efforts, Azerbaijan has made a proposal to establish a border checkpoint at the beginning of the Lachin-Khankendi road.

"This proposal was also welcomed by international partners as a transparent mechanism and confidence-building measure on the Lachin-Khankendi road as part of the post-conflict normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, Armenia's rejection of this proposal without explaining the reasons indicates Armenia's disinterest in transparency on the Lachin-Khakendi road and its intention to continue abusing the road," the statement concluded.

The Government of Azerbaijan filed its main claim against Armenia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on January 23. Azerbaijan has requested that the Court declare Armenia responsible for wholesale violations of the human rights of Azerbaijanis. In particular, Azerbaijan has requested the Court to find the Government of Armenia responsible for ethnic cleansing, including through unlawful killing, torture, destruction, and dispossession; cultural erasure; the promotion of hatred against Azerbaijanis; failure to promote tolerance of Azerbaijanis among the Armenian population; and state sponsorship of armed hate groups in Armenia.

Azerbaijan has also requested that the Court urge Armenia to uphold its obligations to disclose all information about the missing Azerbaijanis, restore to Azerbaijanis all property and land illegally taken, cease its promotion of hatred and state support for armed hate groups, and ultimately apologize and take responsibility for thirty years of human rights abuses.