By Rashid Shirinov
Baku considers Armenia's recent provocations on the frontline as a non-constructive position, said Ali Hasanov, the Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs.
"Azerbaijan's stance on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is obvious,” Hasanov told reports on June 19, Azertac reported. “And this stance is delivered to the international community and a number of other organizations dealing with the issue, including the UN Security Council, the OSCE, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. Our country's position is that Azerbaijan's territorial integrity must be restored, refugees and internally displaced persons must return to their homelands, and the norms of international law concerning the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict must be followed.”
"Of course, we understand the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries' and international organizations' different positions on this issue. But the key point is the issue of territorial integrity which is an inviolable principle of international law,’ the top official added.
Hasanov reminded that President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that Azerbaijan will make no concessions to anybody even an inch of its territory. “However, we are ready to achieve a constructive peace as well,” Hasanov said.
The Presidential Assistant emphasized that the co-chairs' visits to Azerbaijan contribute to clarifying the situation, re-studying the sides' positions and achieving progress on the conflict resolution against a background of rapprochement of these positions.
"We consider that majority of both bilateral meetings and the meetings involving the co-chairs, as well as the meetings of the heads of state and foreign ministers contribute to finding common positions, and sooner or later they will be found. Otherwise, the fact that the Azerbaijani army will liberate Nagorno-Karabakh and other lands which are under the Armenian occupation is inevitable."
Ali Hasanov noted that Armenia's aggressive policy has been continuous so far, without any breaks. “They simply step back a bit at some points, trying to conceal their stance and mislead the international community. In general, we have never seen the Armenians' doing without provocation since 1990s. They have constantly resorted to provocations, and continue their deeds particularly at a time when the international negotiations have intensified and the efforts to eliminate the status quo increased on the international arena. They try to reinforce the confrontation on the frontline and hide their anti-Azerbaijani position on international arena. On the other hand, they try to cover up their population`s discontent with the Armenian authorities and the spineless regime across the country. Therefore, we consider these provocations as a non-constructive stance of the Armenian authority as the previous ones,” he added.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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