By Aisha Jabbarova
Serbia has launched an official investigation into the use of Serbian weapons during the recent Armenian provocation in border Tovuz region, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Ministry Khalaf Khalafov said during the ministry’s briefing on July 23.
“The Serbian side understands the seriousness of this issue,” Khalafov said, adding that under the international law, a weapon producing country is never relieved of the responsibility for arms
Furthermore, Khalafov said that al lelements of fascism are found in the policies pursued by the Armenian authorities. “However, the world already understands and accepts the truth," the minister concluded.
It should be noted that Serbia's Chargé d'Affaires Danica Veinovic was summoned to the ministry on July 20 over delivery of large amount of military ammunition and mortar from Serbia to Armenia. Veinovic was informed that according to reliable and confirmed information, a large amount of ammunition was sent from Serbia to Armenia, including mortars and ammunition of various calibers.
Serbian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajic told the “Nova.rs” portal on July 21 that the weapons were exported to Armenia by a private company. He noted that the company had permits from four ministries (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Defence and his own), as well as the country’s top civilian intelligence and security agency the BIA.
The cross-border fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan started on July 12 with Armenia's firing artillery at Azerbaijan's positions in the direction of Tovuz region. Azerbaijani army lost 12 servicemen as a result of Armenian attacks. One civilian was killed as a result of artillery fire by the Armenian armed forces.
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.
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