By Akbar Mammadov
Armenia is backtracking on the negotiations process, and undermines the peace talks with its “war-mongering rhetoric”, presidential aide, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said in an exclusive interview with EURACTIV on May 13.
Commenting on the illegal elections held in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh recently, Hajiyev said that “so-called elections once again demonstrated that the illegal regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is nothing but a criminal entity”, a part of the “mafia-sort fights among the political leadership in Armenia”.
Hikmat Hajiyev regretted “the lack of constructive actions” by Yerevan to move forward the negotiations.
He said that the only way was to resolve the conflict step-by-step, starting with the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the withdrawal of Armenia’s troops and the return all displaced people.
Hajiyev also said it was a “well-established tradition” to exploit silver mines in Nagorno-Karabakh and illegally export the metal, while the money received was used to finance what he said were obscure activities of the political leadership of Armenia.
Hajiyev said his country was looking forward to work with the new leadership of the EU institutions, and was attaching particular importance to the Commission priorities for the Eastern Partnership policy post-2020 proposed last March.
“In particular, for the Eastern Partnership, appreciating that territorial integrity of the partner countries was seen as an essential element and a shared value”, the presidential aide stressed.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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