By Vafa Ismayilova
The Azerbaijani State Security Service has initiated a criminal case against a Lebanese citizen of Armenian origin on terrorism and several other charges for participating in military operations and committing terrorist acts on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan for a certain pre-agreed fee.
"Following the criminal case initiated by the State Security Service, Vicken Euljekjian was charged with Articles 114.3 (Mercenary), 214.2.1 and 214.2.3 (Terrorism), 228.2.1 (Illegal purchase, storage, transportation and carrying of fire-arms and supplies), 279.1 (Creation of armed groups which are not provided by the legislation) and 318.2 (Illegal crossing border of the Republic of Azerbaijan) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan," the State Security Service reported on its official website on December 2.
The service added that the preliminary investigations had ascertained reasonable suspicions that Lebanese citizen Vicken Euljekjian, together with another citizen of that country Hovak Kikiani, as well as individual foreign citizens participated in military operations and committed terrorist acts on the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan for a certain pre-agreed fee.
"Complex operational-investigative measures are being carried on numerous facts related to the involvement of citizens of various foreign countries as mercenaries, who were transferred from Armenia to the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan and participated in the battles in the form of illegal armed groups and terrorist organizations," the report added.
At his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on November 21, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev spoke about the participation of foreign mercenaries involved by Armenia in the 44-day war between September 27 - November 10.
“Armenia has extensively used foreign mercenaries. We have numerous photo and video documents. We have passports of foreign citizens, in particular, citizens of France, the USA, Lebanon, Canada, Georgia and other countries. Some of these people are of Armenian origin, some are not. This, however, does not change the essence of the issue because the participation of foreign mercenaries on the part of Armenia, of course, is unacceptable,” he said.
On November 10, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end fighting in Karabakh and work towards a comprehensive solution.
The November peace agreement ended the 30-years-old conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region that along with the seven adjacent regions came under the occupation of Armenian armed forces in the war in the 1990s. For nearly three decades, Armenia failed to implement the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its troops, which was the main obstacle to the resolution of the conflict.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France had been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts resulted in no progress as Armenia refused to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions.
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