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MP calls Armenia's groundless accusation as failure of their provocation plans

29 July 2023 16:25 (UTC+04:00)
MP calls Armenia's groundless accusation as failure of their provocation plans
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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Armenia’s allegation on the so-called “blockade” of the part of the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan and “dire humanitarian situation” are utterly groundless and false, and are nothing other than reckless attempts to manipulate the international community.

According to AZERNEWS, this was told by Azerbaijani Member of Parliament Sevil Mikayilova, in a statement on Armenia’s groundless claims about the Lachin border checkpoint.

Azerbaijani MP especially emphasized the provocative actions of Armenia in recent days around the border checkpoint of Azerbaijan. She noted that the Armenian side, which failed to achieve its goal, is currently trying to realize its nefarious intentions through some international humanitarian organizations.

“Abuse of humanitarian activities, including arbitrary denial of humanitarian assistance on the basis of political considerations constitute a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, and thus, must be rejected. In this regard, Azerbaijan resolutely condemns Armenia’s consistent efforts to abuse the issue of humanitarian assistance for its malign purposes and instrumentalize relevant international actors, most notably the ICRC,” she said.

Obviously, Armenia, through the illegal subordinate regime it installed in these territories, consistently abuses the presence of the ICRC in the area for its political agenda based on ethnic hatred and aimed at separation of the part of territory of Azerbaijan. Considering this point, S.Mikayilova noted that the Lachin border-check point established by Azerbaijan on international border with Armenia is a legal and legitimate act of Azerbaijan aimed at ensuring security of its borders. According to her, this is fully in line with international law and established international practice.

The Azerbaijani MP also touched on the groundless appeals of Armenians rejected by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and noted that in any case, the Armenian side does not accept that it is unjust and tries to accuse Azerbaijan with various false claims.

“The International Court of Justice, by unanimously rejecting the request of Armenia on July 6, 2023, has essentially confirmed that Armenia’s claims for illegality of the border-check point of Azerbaijan have no ground.

Besides, allegations on deliberate disruption of electricity and gas supply by Azerbaijan to the Garabagh region is equally unsubstantiated. Suffice here to recall the Order of the ICJ of 22 February 2023, in which the Court has essentially rejected Armenia’s request for indication of provisional measure on Azerbaijan on these allegations,” she added.

Moreover, since the checkpoint began its operation, civilian travel between the Garabagh Region of Azerbaijan and Armenia in both directions increased significantly, and more than 2,000 individuals have already passed through the Border Checkpoint until June 15, 2023, when Armenia resorted to open armed provocation to disrupt the functioning of the check-point.

According to Sevil Mikayilova, Armenia is so far from international laws that they disregard the security of international organizations around the border with such armed provocations.

“This clear armed provocation took place at a time when the convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was in the close vicinity of the border check-point carrying out pre-planned operation of accompanying the group of Armenian minorities living in Garabagh region to travel to Armenia for medical reasons. Thus, June 15 armed attack did not only target the Azerbaijani border servicemen, but also put under the danger the ICRC staff and civilians passing through the checkpoint,” she emphasized.

Despite the consistent calls of Azerbaijan and series of discussions with mediation of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, Armenia continues to refuse providing a guarantee for non-repetition of such incidents, and thus, obstructs the full resumption of the work of the check-point. Azerbaijan’s consistent calls on Armenia for cooperation through the border and customs institutions to ensure smooth functioning of cross-border movement of persons, cargo and services equally have remained unanswered.

On the contrary, Armenia, through its illegal subordinate regime, has imposed restrictions on the movement of Armenian residents of the Garabagh region, and effectively deprived them of the opportunity to use the border checkpoint without prior permission from Armenia-installed illegal structures.

The MP also cited all this as the basis and noted that Azerbaijan is ensuring the convenience of two-way movement at the border checkpoint on the Lachin road. Mikayilova noted that pending Armenia’s lifting its restrictions on the free movement of civilians and cargo through the Lachin checkpoint and proceeding from the need for minimizing the impact of the situation on local civilian population, Azerbaijan has since been facilitating the passage of local Armenian residents through the check-point for urgent medical purposes.

“Yet, Armenia has not ceased its provocations and recklessly attempted to exploit ICRC-hired vehicles for smuggling of goods, such as electronic devices, micro-chips and other dual-use technologies to supply its illegally deployed armed forces in the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan,” the Azerbaijani MP noted with regret and called it a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, which was also a serious blow on humanitarian mandate and international reputation of the ICRC.

In addition, Sevil Mikayilova mentioned in her statement that Azerbaijan offered ICRC an alternative road in the direction of Aghdam-Khankendi and noted that Azerbaijan is ready to provide any conditions for all transportation on that road.

“The availability of the Aghdam-Khankendi route for transfer of goods to local residents was reiterated by Azerbaijan at meetings with Armenia facilitated by international actors, such the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the Russian Federation. The EU Council President in his public remarks following the meeting encouraged the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi route as an important part of ensuring that the needs of the Armenian minorities in Garabagh are met,” she noted.

However, Armenia’s obstruction with respect to Aghdam-Khankendi and other routes continues to date. Armenia through the illegal regime in Garabagh orchestrates so-called public protests against the usage of alternative routes for the delivery of cargo and services, and recklessly, instrumentalizes the residents for its malign political agenda of ethnic and racial hatred. Given this fact the MP drew attention Armenia’s subordinate illegal regime’s blocking of Aghdam-Khankendi road with concrete blocks in order to prevent cargo and vehicles, including those of the ICRC, to pass.

“Unfortunately, the deployment by ICRC of its doctor in Khankendi to facilitate the passage of persons in medical need has also been prevented, again based on political considerations. Such arbitrary denial of humanitarian assistance based on ethnic hatred is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law, as it undermines the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence regarding the international humanitarian assistance and non-interference with the sovereignty and consent of the recipient country as reflected in relevant UN documents,” S. Mikayilova said.

Touching on the dirty intentions behind such acts of Armenian separatists, the MP emphasized that Armenia’s such behavior reveals its sinister objective of creating a false narrative of a “blockade” and “humanitarian crises” in the region. “Certainly, the aim is to blackmail Azerbaijan with fake propaganda campaign based on fabricated accusations. Armenia seeks to impose its policy of ethnic hatred and segregation. By so doing, Armenia undermines the normalization process that has gained a historical momentum thanks to the active engagement of international partners.”

It is regretful to say that as a direct consequence, ethnic Armenian citizens of Azerbaijan residing in the part of the Garabagh region have now become hostage of Armenia’s malign political agenda. Armenia recklessly exploit them as a human shield to obstruct Azerbaijan’s efforts to reintegration.

In her statement on the issue, Sevil Mikayilova also emphasized that Azerbaijan is taking alternative measures against such steps taken by Armenia. Also, the deputy added that Azerbaijan, as always, once again called on the Armenian side to maintain mutual respect and relations.

“Notwithstanding all political, military, informational and other blackmailing activities, Azerbaijan is determined to take further steps fully in line with its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to reintegrate ethnic Armenian residents into its political, legal and socio-economic framework as equal citizens.

Azerbaijan once again call on Armenia to cease its actions targeting the sovereignty and territorial integrity, stop interfering with its internal affairs and fully honor its obligations and commitments with respect to normalizing inter-state relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of mutual recognition of and respect for each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders,” she concluded.

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Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1

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