By Rashid Shirinov
Instead of showing respect to the communique adopted at the level of heads of state and government of NATO member states, Armenia’s Prime Minister is engaged in populism and tries to put forward unfounded claims, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev said on July 13.
He was commenting on the speech by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the NATO meeting on Afghanistan.
Hajiyev noted that the final document adopted at the level of heads of state and government of NATO member states in Brussels once again expressed support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on these principles. The EU-Azerbaijan Partnership Priorities Document also expressed support and respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan.
“Mutual respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of the borders of states is the basic principle of inter-state relations, political and international legal obligation and civilized behavior. The non-recognition and disrespect of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, decisions and resolutions of the Non-Aligned Movement, the OIC, OSCE, NATO, the Council of Europe and other international institutions shows that there is a serious gap between Armenia and the international community,” Hajiyev stressed.
He added that instead of taking constructive steps to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations, the Armenian leadership aggravates the situation by putting forward pre-conditions for negotiations, conducting illegal visits to the occupied Azerbaijani territories, placing additional manpower there, and by making other adventurous steps.
Hajiyev also noted that by speaking about democracy, Pashinyan pursues the goal of legitimizing his coming to power through a coup d’etat.
“If Pashinyan wants to prove his commitment to democracy and human rights, Armenia must comply with international obligations, withdraw its troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, and not interfere with the right of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons subjected to ethnic cleansing to return to their native lands,” the spokesman stressed.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Until now, Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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