By Rashid Shirinov
The attempted provocation by the Armenian Armed Forces on the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border on February 11 is a further example of Armenia’s policy to impede the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's Spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev.
“Practice shows that if during the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ visits to the region specific issues related to settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are discussed, the Armenian side resorts to diversionary provocative attempts of various kinds,” he told Trend on February 12.
On February 11 morning, taking advantage of the foggy weather, Armenian servicemen attempted to cross the forward positions of the Azerbaijani army near the Gazakh region. A UAZ car with the Armenian Armed Forces’ reconnaissance and sabotage group inside, moving towards the Azerbaijani positions, was timely detected. Azerbaijani Armed Forces took preventive actions and prevented the attempt of the Armenian reconnaissance and sabotage group to move ahead. As a result, the group abandoned the vehicle and hurried back to its positions. The Armenian sabotage group also opened fire at the car, destroying it, while retreating.
Hajiyev reminded military and political provocations Armenia committed in June-July 2017, after the visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the region. “As a result of these provocations, a two-year-old girl Zahra Guliyeva and her grandmother were killed in Alkhanli village of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli region on July 4,” the spokesman noted.
He further mentioned that Armenia aims to impede the progress of the negotiation process in every possible way, and this once again shows that the presence of the Armenian Armed Forces in the occupied Azerbaijani territories remains a serious threat to regional security and peace.
“To achieve progress in the political settlement of the conflict, it is necessary to ensure the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani lands and change the current status quo, which is based on occupation,” Hajiyev said.
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 districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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