Azerbaijani deputy minister denies key Karabakh road closed, raps Armenia for dodging peace talks
Azerbaijan’s message for the Armenian people is one of reconciliation and hope for a shared future, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Elnur Mammadov said.
He made the remarks during a public hearing at the UN International Court of Justice.
"Azerbaijan has made it clear, that, while it criticizes the actions of the Armenian government, which deliberately aggravates the parties’ dispute and refuses to abide by the trilateral statement, Azerbaijan’s message for the Armenian people is one of the reconciliations and a hope for the shared future," he said.
The official stressed that ever since the cancellation of the trilateral talks scheduled for December 23, 2022, Armenia has been refusing all proposals for negotiations.
"When Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia were due to meet on December 23, 2022, for another round of talks, including to address the situation around the Lachin road, it was Armenia that pulled out of negotiations at the last minute without prior notice or explanation," he said.
Mammadov emphasized that no plausible interpretation of these events could lead to the conclusion that Azerbaijan is purposely seeking to harm ethnic Armenians living in Karabakh.
Further, the minister underlined that official Baku resolutely rejects the accusations claiming that a peaceful protest of Azerbaijanis at the Lachin road is a "blockade".
"Tragically, Armenia has ceased upon the Lachin road protest to try to create political leverage in the ongoing peace negotiations between the two states, and, instead of trying to resolve issues, it encourages hatred and fear of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis," he said.
Noting that no restrictions on the traffic along the road were imposed by Azerbaijan, the deputy minister recalled under the trilateral statement, the Lachin road is under the control of the Russian peacekeepers.
"The protesters have repeatedly said that they have no intention of blocking the road. Dozens of cars of the peacekeepers, ICRC travel along the road every day," Mammadov finalized.
Sabina Mammadli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SabinaMmdl
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