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Armenia rejected proposal to establish checkpoints - FM (UPDATE)

Politics Materials 25 February 2023 13:40 (UTC +04:00)

Details added: first version posted on February 24, 17:52

BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 24. Armenia rejected a proposal to establish checkpoints on the border, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov told reporters, Trend reports.

"Armenians used the Lachin-Khankendi road for illegal purposes. International organizations were repeatedly informed about this, and briefings were held for representatives of the diplomatic corps operating in our country. There are hundreds of different facts of violations,” Bayramov said. “This situation, of course, caused justified negativity of the Azerbaijani society, including peaceful protests, which began in December.”

“We know that there are calls for the problem solution. One of the solutions was voiced by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in a meeting with Armenian prime minister [Nikol Pashinyan] at the Munich Security Conference, and then during a panel discussion, when the president proposed to establish checkpoints on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conditional border,” the Azerbaijani minister reminded.

“This [establishing checkpoints] can ensure transparency on the Lachin-Khankendi road, because everyone knows what was written in the trilateral statement [signed by Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders following the 2020 second Karabakh war], and what are the obligations of the parties,” he said. “However, the lack of transparency creates serious problems and questions. When this proposal is being discussed in the working order, we hear from international partners about its expediency.”

“At that meeting [between Azerbaijani president and Armenian prime minister], no concrete answers were given, but after about two days, the Armenian foreign minister, referring to this proposal, without any explanation, called it unacceptable for Armenia,” Bayramov noted. “This once again shows that Armenia isn’t interested in fulfilling its obligations under the trilateral statement. It refuses the proposal to eliminate any tension on the Lachin-Khankendi road.”

He added that Armenia is interested in manipulating and misleading the international community, creating a false impression and unnecessary tension.

"It evades negotiations and also refuses the proposal presented without any explanation," the foreign minister concluded.

The peaceful protest on Azerbaijan’s Lachin-Khankendi road against the illegal exploitation of Azerbaijan's mineral resources in the area of Russian peacekeepers' temporary deployment has been going on since December 12, 2022.

Previously, following the talks with the Russian peacekeepers' command on December 3 and 7, 2022, a group of experts from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the State Property Service under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold CJSC were going to begin preliminary monitoring of the illicit mineral resource exploitation, as well as emerging environmental implications on Azerbaijani lands, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed, on December 10, 2022.

The expert team was expected to inspect the environmental condition at the 'Gizilbulagh' gold deposit and the 'Damirli' copper-molybdenum deposit, monitor various areas, organize cadastral property records, assess potential risks and threats to the environment, as well as to underground and surface water sources.

However, the expert group, accompanied by Russian peacekeepers, faced provocations when arriving in the monitoring area. The planned initial inspection and monitoring did not take place due to the fact that the Russian peacekeepers not only did not create necessary conditions but also prevented the entire process from carrying on.

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