As Iran denies military buildup on Azerbaijani border, calls to Baku, Yerevan for peaceful solution of issues on the rise
By Sabina Mammadli
In violation of the November 10, 2020, trilateral statement, hammered out between Armenia and Azerbaijan through Russia's mediation to end the Second Karabakh War that lasted 44 days and ended with Baku's victory over Yerevan, on August 3, the Armenian separatist forces in Karabakh resorted to a blatant violation of the deal, in which, a private of the army was killed.
In the wake of the tragic death of the Azerbaijani serviceman, the armed forces launched Operation Revenge to punish the separatist forces that have been recently violating the truce along the state borders and inside Karabakh, where the Russian peacekeepers are in temporary charge of the overall situation as stipulated under the trilateral deal.
Azerbaijan's justified retaliatory operation triggered wide-ranging reactions and calls for a peaceful resolution of the remaining issues are now being heard again.
On August 3, Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov briefed EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar on the current situation in the region.
The minister informed the opposite side of the flagrant violation of the tripartite statements and provocations committed over recent days, as well as the fact that the Armenian armed forces and illegal Armenian armed groups have not been completely withdrawn from Azerbaijani territories as stipulated by the mentioned documents.
Further, Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano stated that the EU remains committed to facilitating resolving tensions in Karabakh and continuing to contribute to sustainable peace and stability in the South Caucasus.
In an appeal to the international organizations, Azerbaijani Ombudsman Sabina Aliyeva called for taking legal measures to stop such criminal acts and fulfill the obligations arising from international law.
The appeal specified the gist of the current aggravations, stressing that the illegal Armenian armed formations tried to seize the heights located on the mountain range covering the territory of the Kalbajar and Lachin districts and create new combat positions there along with the killing of the soldier.
“Since the signing of the tripartite statement, dated November 10, 2020, and to the present, Armenia has been constantly committing terrorist provocations, leading to the death of innocent people and the aggravation of the situation again,” the statement noted.
The Ombudswoman expressed her concern about actions that pose a serious threat to the peace-building process.
"Addressing international organizations active in the field of human rights protection, we condemn the ongoing terrorist provocations of Armenia, which lead to the death of innocent people and pose a serious threat to peace in the region," the appeal noted.
As for the United States, US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price stated that the country is concerned over the situation in the Karabakh region and calls for reducing tensions.
"The United States is deeply concerned by and closely following reports of intensive fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh, including casualties and the loss of life. We urge immediate steps to reduce tensions and avoid further escalation," the statement reads.
He added that the recent increase in tensions underscores the need for a negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement of all remaining issues related to or resulting from the Karabakh conflict.
In turn, Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Javier Colomina wrote on Twitter that NATO supports the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
"We deeply regret the loss of life and urge both sides to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table. NATO supports the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia," the official wrote.
Meanwhile, the Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan has claimed that the video footage spread on social networks about the so-called accumulation of heavy military equipment by Iran on the border with Azerbaijan was fake.
According to the embassy, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) does not have an official telegram channel, and the official position of the IRGC can be learned only through official channels and the spokesman of the agency.
"The reports spread on social networks are fake. That footage was originally filmed several years ago under different circumstances. Such rumors are circulated by those who want to harm the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan," the embassy said.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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