By Akbar Mammadov
Armenia attempts to strengthen the status-quo based on the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said on July 28.
“The policy and contradictory statements of the Armenian leadership aimed at deliberately violating the format and essence of the negotiation process clearly show that the country is trying to strengthen the status quo based on occupation,” Abdullayeva said.
She described as unacceptable the attempts of the aggressor Armenia to impose any conditions on the talks and to change the format of the negotiations.
“We reiterate that the current status quo in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is unacceptable, as it poses a serious threat to regional peace and security,” Abdullayeva said.
The spokesperson emphasized that in order to change the status quo, Armenian troops must be withdrawn from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
“With its aggressive and annexation policy and military provocations, targeting civilians, as well as violating the international humanitarian law and ceasefire in various directions of the frontline on a daily basis, being directly responsibly for escalation of tensions in the region, Armenia has no right to speak about the observance of the ceasefire or refraining from provocative actions,” Abdullayeva noted.
Speaking about the military provocation committed by the Armenian armed forces in the direction of the Tovuz district of Azerbaijan on July 12, the spokesperson underlined that it was another pre-planned act of aggression.
“The entire responsibility for the attempt to use this force lies with the political and military leadership of Armenia,” she said.
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.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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