Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 5
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
The provocative actions of Armenia on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops during the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting are aimed at maintaining the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend Dec.5.
The spokesman said that according to information of the Defense Ministry, Armenia commits acts of sabotage on the contact line with Azerbaijan and intensively violates the ceasefire using large-caliber guns. As a result of the irresponsible acts committed by Armenia, two Azerbaijani servicemen were killed and two were wounded during the recent days.
Hajiyev said that Yerevan conduced to the known helicopter incident by holding large-scale military exercise in Azerbaijan's occupied territories with the participation of 46,000 personnel and over 5,000 units of military equipment following the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents held November 2014 in Paris with the initiative of French President Francois Hollande.
Existence of Armenian Armed Forces in Azerbaijan's occupied territories prevents the settlement of the conflict and serves to intensifying the situation and occurrence of incidents, Hajiyev said.
"Azerbaijani side repeatedly stated that in order to settle the conflict and restore the peace in the region, first of all Armenia must withdraw its troops from Azerbaijan's occupied territories in accordance with the UN Security Council's four resolutions," he said.
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, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Asebaa