BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 28. Paris abides by an absolutely pro-Armenian position in the Karabakh issue and by no means wishes to acknowledge Azerbaijan's justified position, Trend News Agency's Deputy Director General Rufiz Hafizoglu told France 24 TV channel broadcasting in Arabic, Trend reports.
Hafizoglu noted that accusations by the West against Azerbaijan regarding demographic changes in the region are ridiculous.
"Azerbaijan has by no means changed the demographic composition of the region. Armenia did that 30 years ago, and for some reason, the international community turned a blind eye to it. Moreover, today, when talking about a handful of Armenians in Karabakh, you are silent about more than a million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs. Did only Armenians live in Karabakh? Were Armenians its true owners?" he emphasized.
In response to the question about the reason for the arrest of Ruben Vardanyan, who previously held the "position" of the so-called "state minister" of the separatist regime in Karabakh and continued to work there after his dismissal, Hafizoglu stated that Vardanyan is a criminal and there is nothing unlawful about his detention.
In order to ensure the provisions of the Trilateral Statement [signed by Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Russian leaders following the 2020 second Karabakh war], suppression of large-scale provocations in Azerbaijan's Karabakh economic region, disarmament, and withdrawal of Armenian armed forces formations from the territories of Azerbaijan, localized anti-terrorist activities were carried out in the region.
Taking into account the appeal of the representatives of the Armenian population of Karabakh through the Russian peacekeeping contingent [temporarily stationed in Azerbaijan under the trilateral statement], an agreement was reached on September 20, 2023, at 13:00 (GMT+4) to cease anti-terrorist activities of a local nature under the following conditions: the formations of the armed forces of Armenia, Armenian illegal armed formations located in Azerbaijan's Karabakh region, lay down their weapons, leave their combat positions and military posts, and completely disarm; the formations of the armed forces of Armenia leave the territory of Azerbaijan; Armenian illegal armed groups are dissolved.
Vardanyan was detained on September 27 at the Lachin border checkpoint by the Azerbaijani State Border Service while trying to escape from Azerbaijan's territory to Armenia.
He was brought to Baku accompanied by officers of the State Border Service's Rapid Response Force.
Vardanyan was transferred to the relevant Azerbaijani authorities. The decision on him will be made at a later stage.