By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan calls on all OSCE member states to strongly and unequivocally demand that Armenia comply with all its obligations under the Helsinki Final Act, put an end to the use of force against Azerbaijan and withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev said in a statement on August 1.
He made the remarks in connection with the 43rd anniversary of the adoption of the Helsinki Final Act.
“The Helsinki Final Act was adopted on August 1, 1975, at the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). The Helsinki Final Act established ten fundamental principles governing, in particular, the conduct of states towards each other and serving for the maintenance of peace and security in Europe,” Hajiyev noted.
He said that in January 1992, Azerbaijan joined the CSCE, and since then, the country remains fully committed to its obligations under the Helsinki Final Act.
The spokesman also mentioned that the Helsinki Final Act prohibits the acquisition of territory by force.
“According to the document, the principle of non-use of force is directly related to the inadmissibility of changing the borders of states by violent means. To this end, in order to emphasize the rule of territorial integrity, the Helsinki Final Act expanded article 2(4) of the UN Charter and codified territorial integrity, inviolability of borders and non-use of force as separate principles,” Hajiyev said, noting that ultimately, in the Helsinki Final Act, they are defined as consistent principles arising from the fundamental norms of territorial integrity.
The spokesman stressed that Armenia, as an OSCE member state, grossly violating its obligations under the Helsinki Final Act, through the use of force occupied the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven other adjacent regions of Azerbaijan.
“Armenia carried out the infamous ethnic cleansing against the Azerbaijani civilian population in the occupied lands. The illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is Armenia’s continuation of the policy of use of force and threat of force against Azerbaijan,” Hajiyev mentioned.
He added that in order to somehow disguise its illegal actions, including the use of force and threat of force against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, the attempts to annex Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and the forced expulsion of the civilian Azerbaijani population from their native lands, Armenia strongly distorts the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act.
The spokesman noted that as established in the relevant OSCE document of 1995, the Helsinki Final Act, along with the UN Security Council resolutions, form the basis of the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
“Azerbaijan, in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, will ensure its territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders,” Hajiyev added.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, 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.
To this day, Armenia has not implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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