President Ilham Aliyev has said that the situation in the region is deteriorating due to Armenia’s ongoing military provocation against Azerbaijan, stressing that the lack of international response to these provocations may have unpredictable consequences.
“Armenians completely ignore the norms of international law and commit crimes. The reason they are able to do this is that there is no-one to stop them. The Minsk Group co-chairs do not stop them,” Ilham Aliyev while receiving EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar on September 25.
Aliyev said that the decision to hold the swearing-in ceremony for the so-called leader of the criminal junta in Shusha, an ancient historical city of Azerbaijan, was another deliberate act of provocation committed by Yerevan recently.
The president also spoke about the illegal settlement of Armenians in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
“This is a flagrant violation of international law. This is a violation of the Geneva Convention and it is a crime. They are moving Armenians from Lebanon to Shusha and other occupied territories. They demonstrate it, they show it on TV and on the Internet. As a matter of fact, they completely ignore the norms of international law and commit crimes. The reason they are able to do this is that there is no-one to stop them.”
Among Yerevan’s other provocations, Aliyev cited Armenian defense minister’s statement made in the United States in 2019, saying that Armenia would start a new war for new territories. “This clearly demonstrates the continuation of Armenia's aggressive behavior,” Aliyev said.
The president also said that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s 2019 statement that “Karabakh is Armenia” actually demonstrated Armenia's withdrawal from the talks. “Otherwise, he would have refrained from making such an unacceptable and wrong statement,” the president noted.
The president said that Yerevan’s unwillingness to negotiate was also exhibited during the cross-border attack on Azerbaijan in July, which killed Azerbaijani servicemen and a civilian and destroyed civilian infrastructure.
The attack was aimed at occupying new Azerbaijan territories for gaining a stronger position at the negotiating table, Aliyev said.
The second reason for the attack was to divert the attention of the Armenian population from internal problems and difficulties and to involve third parties in the conflict.
The president reminded that immediately after the defeat in the border attack, the Armenian authorities turned for help to the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization of which they are a member.
The president said that Armenian provocations on the border have become more aggressive recently.
“Some time ago, our army was withdrawn from the border and now a large section of the state border with Armenia is guarded by the border service. This shows that we have no military intentions on the state border with Armenia. This may have sent them a wrong message. They thought they could attack us, cross the state border and occupy new territories.”
The president expressed dissatisfaction with lack of response from the OSCE Minsk Group to the Armenian provocation, saying that the group’s statements are not directly aimed at anyone.
“Azerbaijan has not taken any provocative steps. We did not attack them at the state border, we did not send a sabotage group, we did not announce the creation of a volunteer army, we did not commit any other provocations. All provocations are committed by Armenia, and they are doing it deliberately, they are demonstrating it. The lack of international pressure on them – which I have repeatedly raised in meetings with the Minsk Group co-chairs – leads to very dangerous steps and may have unpredictable consequences,” the president said.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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