Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry urges UNPF to remain impartial over Lachin corridor protest
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry called on the UN Population Fund to be impartial and refrain from actions and statements that would harm the reputation of the organization, Azernews reports per the ministry.
In a statement addressed to the UN Population Fund, the ministry noted that the organization’s “biased, misguiding and out-of-mandate” statement of January 24 on the situation around the Lachin road is “surprising and regrettable”.
The ministry outlined how it is unacceptable for the UNPF to issue a statement on the legitimate protest of Azerbaijanis while failing to express views about the plight of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani families, who, as a result of Armenia’s military aggression against Azerbaijan, were displaced from their homes for 30 years, lived in tent camps for years, abandoned train cars, camps in an environment with unhealthy conditions, deprived of education, healthcare, and all other rights.
It was emphasized that peaceful protests on the Lachin road, a sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, with the demand to prevent the illegal exploitation of Azerbaijan’s natural resources, the transportation of these resources from Azerbaijan to Armenia, and the abuse of the Lachin road, which is intended only for humanitarian purposes, is the legitimate right of the Azerbaijani people.
“Illegal activities in the places of compact settlement of Armenian residents in the territories of Azerbaijan are a threat to the national security of Azerbaijan, and it is of utmost importance to stop such activities. In this regard, in accordance with the Trilateral Statement dated November 10, 2020, Azerbaijan shall guarantee the safety of citizens, vehicles, and goods traveling along the Lachin road in both directions. The security guarantee also includes the prevention of abuse of the Lachin road,” the statement said.
Besides, the statement reiterated that no obstacles are being created by the protesters to the movement of vehicles and residents on the Lachin road, adding that over 1,000 vehicles have provided the residents with essential goods, medical supplies, and necessary medical services using the road. It was stressed that the claims of protests causing a “humanitarian catastrophe” in the region are baseless, as the Azerbaijani government has repeatedly stated that it is ready to promptly resolve all humanitarian needs that Armenian residents may require.
“Despite these, the people who present themselves as “leaders” of the Armenian residents continue to use the local population as a shield and prevent their freedom of movement in order to continue their illegal activities,” the ministry finalized.
The peaceful protests on the Lachin-Khankandi road have been going on for over forty days.
Following discussions with the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent on December 3 and 7, 2022, Azerbaijani specialists from the Ministries of Economy, Ecology, and Natural Resources, the State Service for Property Issues under the Ministry of Economy, and AzerGold Company were to conduct primary monitoring on illegal exploitation of mineral deposits on Azerbaijani territory. However, the monitoring failed due to the provocation of ethnic Armenians.
After the Russian peacekeepers' failure to provide the necessary conditions for the Azerbaijani agency representatives to carry out their duties in the area, a group of eco-activists, NGOs, and public representatives have taken to the street in protest at the peacekeepers' repugnance to live up to their obligations in line with the November 10, 2020, peace deal to maintain peace and order in the region, and oust the Armenian troops from the region and prevent illegalities. However, time proved that the Russian peacekeepers are driven by the interests of Russia rather than the idea coming from the essence of the notion of peacekeeping as universally understood.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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