By Vafa Ismayilova
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva has said that Armenia cannot protest at or comment on any visit within Azerbaijan's internationally-recognized borders, the Foreign Ministry reported on July 13.
She made the remarks to comment on reports that the Armenian Foreign Ministry sent a protest note to the diplomatic missions of foreign countries in Yerevan over the visit of these countries' ambassadors accredited in Azerbaijan to the city of Shusha on July 9.
"This step by the Armenian Foreign Ministry shows once again that Armenia continues to demonstrate a position that is contrary to international law and is based on territorial claims. We emphasize once again that Armenia not only has no right to express protest but cannot even comment on any visit to the territory of Azerbaijan within its international borders," Abdullayeva said.
The spokesperson added that visits to Azerbaijani territories were illegal during the Armenian military occupation.
"Shusha has already been liberated and, like other liberated regions, it is an integral part of Azerbaijan. Visits are made here and will continue to be made, the restoration work is underway, the rightful owners of the city will soon return to their homes, in a word, life will revive again in the cradle of our culture," Abdullayeva stressed.
She underlined that while drawing up the note, the Armenian Foreign Ministry had to think about what they were protesting against and on what grounds.
"It seems that the lack of leadership in the Armenian Foreign Ministry affects the documents prepared by this body. The Armenian Foreign Ministry should understand the new situation in the region already. As in the past, the implementation of a destructive and contrary to international law policy does not bode well for Armenia," Abdullayeva said.
On July 9, under President Ilham Aliyev's instruction, a trip was organized for representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Azerbaijan to Shusha.
Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyev, who accompanied the diplomats during the visit, thanked all those, who visited the liberated city.
"With diplomatic corps, we finished our visit to beautiful Shusha - cultural capital of Azerbaijan. Ambassadors received first-hand information on the ground about destroyed cultural monuments and took note on restoration and conservation plans," Hajiyev tweeted on July 10.
It should be noted that ambassadors from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries - Russia, U.S, France, and also Germany failed to visit Shusha.
In its official statement in early May, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said that hundreds of cultural institutions, 927 libraries with a book fund of 4.6 million, 22 museums and museum branches with more than 100,000 exhibits, 4 art galleries, 8 culture, and recreation parks, as well as one of the oldest settlements in the world in Fuzuli district - Azykh Cave, the Shusha State Historical and Architectural Reserve has become victims of Armenian vandalism.
The scale of destruction in Azerbaijan’s formerly occupied territories suggests deep hatred and animosity against Azerbaijanis, with many experts describing these mass destructions as genocide.
For about three decades, Armenia failed to implement the UN Security Council resolutions demanding the withdrawal of its troops from Azerbaijan, which was the main obstacle to the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed the second war 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 Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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