By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has said that the political leadership in Armenia makes baseless statements in a bid to further escalate the situation in the region.
Mammadyarov made the remarks during the meeting with Ambassador of Israel to Azerbaijan Dan Stav on November 14, while commenting on the latest situation around the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The minister stressed the importance of the return of Azerbaijanis IDPs expelled from their homes in Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Krabakh and other seven Azerbaijani districts in the early 1990s.
During the meeting, the sides also exchanged views on the issues of regional and international security. They discussed the activities of the Joint Commission between the governments of Azerbaijan and Israel and its first meeting held in May 2018, stressing the importance of further cooperation.
It should be noted that Armenian authorities have made a number of controversial statements in recent months, undermining negotiations between Baku and Yerevan. In March 2019, Armenian Defence Minister David Tonoyan threatened to occupy more Azerbaijani territories in case the war resumed between the two countries. In August, Prime Minister called for unification of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region with Armenia, a statement that undermined the two-decades-long peace negotiations.
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was also high on the agenda of the meeting between Mammadyarov and his Colombian counterpart Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Senate of Colombia Jose Luis Perez, held on the same day.
During the meeting, Jose Luis Perez reminded that Colombia supports Azerbaijan`s fair position on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He mentioned that in 2018, the Foreign Affairs Commission of Colombia adopted a resolution on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regarding the illegal occupation of Azerbaijan's territories, and also recognized the Khojaly genocide committed by Armenian forces in February 1992.
Perez said that Colombians stand by the people of Azerbaijan and will do their best to advance the friendship between the two countries. Touching upon the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Colombia, the Chairman expressed his hope that this will give impetus to further develop cooperation between the two countries. Furthermore, the sides noted the importance of expanding the legal framework of bilateral relations and discussed strengthening the role of Parliamentary Friendship Groups.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since the 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.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. 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.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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