By Vugar Khalilov
Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov has said that Azerbaijan will prevent future provocations committed by illegal Armenian armed formations on its territory, where the Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed, the ministry reported on September 16.
Hasanov made the remarks at the meeting with a delegation led by the visiting EU special representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar.
He stressed Azerbaijan's full commitment to the terms of the trilateral statement signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia in 2020. Hasanov reminded that the provocations committed by illegal Armenian armed detachments were suppressed on the territory of Azerbaijan, where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed.
Armenia's attempts to aggravate the situation are unacceptable and appropriate measures will be taken to thwart them in the future as well, the minister added.
Hasanov simultaneously urged the international community to take relevant actions against Armenia’s provocations against Azerbaijan.
Furthermore, Hasanov informed the guest about the work done on Azerbaijan’s liberated territories following the victory in the 44-day war in late 2020.
In turn, Klaar expressed the European Union’s readiness to provide relevant support to ensure regional peace.
The post-war regional situation and other issues of mutual interest were discussed at the meeting.
The worst escalation of tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan was observed from late July to mid-August 2021 since the signing of the November 10 statement that ended the last year’s hostilities between the two countries.
The presence of any Armenian serviceman on Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territories is in violation of the November peace deal signed by Baku, Moscow, and Yerevan.
On August 11, 2021, Azerbaijan urged the Russian peacekeepers to end the illegal deployment of Armenian troops on Azerbaijan’s territories under their temporary control.
Later on August 14, President Ilham Aliyev reiterated that Azerbaijan has recently identified that Armenian troops are being sent to Karabakh via the Lachin corridor that is controlled by the Russian peacekeepers and stressed that this contradicts the 10 November 2020 peace deal signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan.
About 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been deployed for five years in Karabakh under the Moscow-brokered trilateral cease-fire deal. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw all its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it had occupied since the early 1990s.
The deal also stipulated the return of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the peace deal, Azerbaijan liberated 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city that had been under Armenian occupation for about 30 years.
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