By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan’s Presidential Aide Hikmat Hajiyev has said that the establishment of peace in the region means the withdrawal of the Armenian troops from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.
Hajiyev made the remark in an interview with Turkish “Haber Global” TV on September 7.
Hajiyev said that Armenia staged a pre-planned provocation near Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district on the border, 300 kilometres from the line of contact between the Armenian and Azerbaijani armed force in July. He said the reason for the cross-border provocation was two-fold.
“Firstly, Armenia sought to threaten the east-west platform of Azerbaijan, the joint [energy] projects with brotherly Turkey, such as TANAP and TAP.”
Secondly, Armenia attempted to capture territories and seize control in Tovuz.
“Armenia was trying to create a new source of danger in the region by diverting attention from the Karabakh issue,” Hajiyev added.
Hajiyev said that the cross-border provocation in July as well as the April war in 2016 showed Armenia the strength of the Azerbaijani army and the solidarity of the Azerbaijani people and the government.
Hajiyev said that Armenia’s policy of occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan has been continuing for over thirty years, with the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the seven adjacent regions remaining under occupation and ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijani civilian committed in those territories.
Weapons delivery to Armenia
He also spoke about Russia’s weapons delivery to Armenia, saying that more than 500 tons of weapons and ammunition were transported to Armenia after the provocation in July.
“We have not yet received an answer to our question about the purpose of transporting these weapons. We should also say openly that we have raised this issue before the relevant Russian authorities. But we could not receive an answer.”
Commenting on the military training camp organized for women in Armenia, Hajiyev said that this testifies to Armenia’s policy of hatred against Azerbaijan and the Turkish nation.
“We again recommend to Armenia and the Armenian people to look into the future without falling victim to such ugly propaganda and being a captive of the past in the 21st century.”
The presidential aide also said that the Armenian diaspora organizations have recently carried out large-scale smear campaign against Turkey and Azerbaijan but failed in their attempt to discredit these countries.
“Our joint activities, as well as our cooperation with brotherly Turkey in the field of media prevented such ugly propaganda. International organizations have made statements in support of Azerbaijan's rightful position. Azerbaijan's true voice was heard in the world media. This shows that we, as fraternal countries, should act together and more actively convey the truth to international organizations."
Speaking about the large-scale drills held between Azerbaijani and Turkish troops in August in Azerbaijan, Hajiyev said that these exercises are carried out in accordance with the annual plan and are very useful in terms of military practice and in terms of serving peace, cooperation and security in the region.
"We do not set a border on the presence of a Turkish soldier in Azerbaijan or an Azerbaijani soldier in Turkey… We support each other when needed, in the right place,” Hajiyev said.
Tension in Mediterranean
Furthermore, Hajiyev reiterated Azerbaijan’s support for Turkey over the tension in the Mediterranean.
“Azerbaijan always stands by brotherly Turkey without hesitation, and this was also noted by President Ilham Aliyev. We see and are proud of Turkey's active policy at the regional and international levels, taking into account its national interests and the interests of its people.”
He also said that Turkey's discovery of a natural gas field in the Black Sea was welcomed in Azerbaijan.
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. The Armenian attack killed 12 Azerbaijani servicemen, including an army general, as well as a 76-year-old civilian.
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.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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