BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 4. Azerbaijan strongly condemns the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia of October 4, voiced in protest against the arrest by Azerbaijan of members of the separatist regime created by Armenia in the sovereign territories of Azerbaijan as a result of aggression and occupation of Azerbaijani lands, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan told Trend.
According to the Azerbaijani ministry, this statement shows that Armenia has not abandoned its decades-long aggressive policy against Azerbaijan.
"The statement also constitutes an attempt to justify the acts committed by those who are now under arrest. The arrest of these persons in the process of the criminal investigation initiated under the applicable articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, regarding the aggression against Azerbaijan, inciting separatism, terrorist acts, crimes against peace and humanity, as well as war crimes and other grave crimes against prisoners of war and civilians, first and foremost serves to restore justice, and to undermine the legitimacy of these actions is completely unacceptable," the ministry said.
"Moreover, Armenian Foreign Ministry is well aware of the fact that thousands of Armenian servicemen and members of illegal armed formations agreeing to disarm were let off free as a humanitarian gesture by Azerbaijan and traveled to Armenia without obstructions, and, in this regard, Armenia’s false propaganda is absolutely baseless," the ministry noted.
"The statement issued by Armenia, causing panic and brewing racial and ethnic hatred among the Armenian residents who voluntarily left Azerbaijan instead of encouraging their return, is an integral part of Armenia’s destructive actions hindering peace efforts," the ministry pointed out.
"Armenia continuing to make unjustifiable legal claims contrary to the norms and principles of international law despite its failures at the International Court of Justice, makes it crystal clear that it is not interested in the process of peace and normalization with Azerbaijan. Such actions of Armenia constitute the main threat to establish peace, security and justice in the region," added the ministry.
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.
Recently, Azerbaijan has arrested a number of former "officials" of the separatist regime, including Arayik Harutyunyan, Bako Saakyan, Ruben Vardanyan and others.