By Akbar Mammadov
Armenia’s illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, including illegal resettlement and change of geographical names, serve to strengthen the occupation, Foreign Minister Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said in a briefing on July 4.
Commenting on the meeting of Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan with the representative of the so-called regime established in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, the spokesperson noted:
“The meeting of the Armenian Foreign Minister with the so-called ‘president’ of the illegal regime created in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is another clear example of the aggressive and annexation policy of this country. Such steps by the Armenian leadership, as well as illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, including illegal resettlement and change of geographical names, serve to strengthen the occupation.
She stressed that by meeting with the puppet regime, Armenia, which is trying to portray this so-called “regime” as a party to the conflict, is doing nothing but deceiving itself.
Noting that the principal position of the international community on the elimination of the consequences of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and the aggressive policy of Armenia is clear, Abdullayev added.
“As for the format of the negotiations, the parties to the negotiations, which have been held since 1992 through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, are the aggressor state Armenia and the victim of aggression, Azerbaijan.”
“As in the case of any occupation, the Armenian occupation is temporary, and Azerbaijan's territorial integrity will be restored within its internationally recognized borders, and the return of Azerbaijanis expelled from their lands to their homes will be ensured,” she said.
Abdullayeva reminded that the essence of the proposals of the Minsk Group co-chairs based on a step-by-step settlement of the conflict is the withdrawal of the occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the return of IDPs to their homes.
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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