By Vafa Ismayilova
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva has said that Azerbaijan is restoring its internationally recognized borders, the Foreign Ministry reported on May 20.
Abdullayeva made the remarks while commenting on an Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman's statement on the recent developments along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
Internationally-recognized borders' restoration
"Let me first underline that the key reason of the border issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan is Armenia’s illegal occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories till November 2020. Hence, it is Armenia that violated Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders. And now Azerbaijan is just restoring its internationally recognized borders," Abdullayea said.
She reiterated that Azerbaijan continues its work on the border protection system within the country's territorial integrity and this process is carried out on the basis of maps available to each of the sides that define the borderline between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
"Several disagreements occurred between the sides on border issues earlier, and all of them were settled via negotiations among the sides to the trilateral statements," Abdullayeva said.
The spokesperson described as "quite strange" the lack of any appeal from the Indian Foreign Ministry in past 30 years calling for the withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces from the Azerbaijani territories.
"And [it] is now speaking about pulling back forces. Apparently, this latest statement was made without a proper thorough examination of various dimensions of this issue," the spokesperson said.
Abdullayeva said that "Azerbaijan has always been calling for, and continues to call for, the full respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states. We believe that mutual respect for and strict adherence to these principles is the only way to settle any dispute and build truly good neighborly relations".
She stressed that Azerbaijan as a current chair of the Non-Aligned Movement has made the promotion of the Bandung Principles one of the priorities of its chairmanship.
"These principles have contributed to the promotion of justice and equality in international relations and ensured respect for the norms and principles of international law. Any attempts that harm the unity within the NAM are deplorable," she said.
Xenophobia on rise in Armenia
Abdullayeva underlined rising intolerance and xenophobia in Armenia.
"Unfortunately, we observe a dramatic rise in intolerance and xenophobia in Armenia. What is particularly troubling is that this trend is aimed not only against Azerbaijan but now covers any nation or group that would dare to express an opinion even slightly differing from an Armenian line. In this country, the Nazi collaborators are idolized and international terrorists are glorified. An incomprehensible act of vandalism was recently taken against the monument to such a world-known proponent of peace and tolerance as Mahatma Gandhi," she said.
Abdullayeva said that such trends of extremism are dangerous and they must be addressed immediately. "Armenia must be encouraged to abandon toxic ideas of national supremacy and territorial expansion. Armenia must finally start abiding by international law and making its key principles a basis for the normalization of relations with neighboring states. Only then Armenia will start benefiting from the good neighborhood and regional cooperation," the spokesperson said.
She stressed that Azerbaijan continues to be strongly committed to peace, security, regional development and cooperation on the basis of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders.
The hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed after that latter started firing at Azerbaijani civilians and military positions starting September 27, 2020. The war ended on November 10 with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani Army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz