By Akbar Mammadov
Armenia’s provocative moves nullify negotiations and hamper the peace process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said in a presser on September 1.
Abdullayev said that Armenia’s actions in the past one and half month were sufficient to understand the provocative nature of this country.
She reminded that Armenia launched a pre-planned attack on Azerbaijan’s border Tovuz district on July 12-16. The attack was thwarted by the Azerbaijani army.
She also said that Armenia used the recent deadly explosion in Lebanese capital Beirut for its goal to strengthen the result of occupation by announcing its plan to settle Lebanese Armenians in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.
Furthermore, Abdullayeva said that after the failure in Tovuz, the Armenian military-political leadership resorted to another provocation by staging a sabotage attempt on the line of contact in Azerbaijan’s Goranboy region on August 23. The Armenian sabotage group's leader was captured by the Azerbaijani army.
“Lastly, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited Azerbaijan’s occupied Khankendi city on August 29 and met ‘representatives’ of the puppet regime created there,” Abdullayeva said.
She stressed the Pashinyan visited the Armenian military units in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which openly demonstrates that Armenia is an aggressor country and pursues annexation policy.
Commenting on Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan’s earlier comments on the importance of political will for the settlement of the conflict, Abdullayeva said: “After all these, I wonder what peace and what proposals and initiatives to reduce tensions in the region Mnatsakanyan is talking about.”
Furthermore, Abdullayeva said that Armenia is bringing up its youth in line with the racist ideology and fascist values of “Nzhdeizm” and supports terrorism on the state level. She reminded vandalism and hate crimes committed by Armenians against Azerbaijani civilians in a number of countries recently.
“The views of the Armenian minister, who connects the prevention of ethnic clashes in foreign countries to demonstration of political will in resolving the conflict, are nonsense. Because Armenia has not been able to demonstrate such political will for years,” Abdullayeva said.
The spokesperson noted that the withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan and restoration of the rights of the displaced people from these lands is key to ensure lasting peace in the region.
“Armenia must eventually show political will and take concrete steps in this direction,” she concluded.
Armenia has stepped up its military provocation recently, staging sabotage both on the border and on the line of contact. On July 12, Armenian forces shelled Azerbaijan's positions in Tovuz, Azerbaijan's strategically-important district on the border. The Armenian attack killed 12 Azerbaijani servicemen, including an army general, as well as a 76-year-old civilian. Armenian forces retreated after suffering losses in Azerbaijan's retaliation.
Azerbaijanis' peaceful protests against the Armenian attack was met by hate crimes committed by Armenian natioanlists in Los Angelese, Belgium and other cities and countries across the world.
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
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz