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Azerbaijani rep at UN slams Armenia's mischievous acts in Garabagh at UN Security Council meeting

17 August 2023 02:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijani rep at UN slams Armenia's mischievous acts in Garabagh at UN Security Council meeting

Azerbaijan is determined to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity by all legal means enshrined in the UN Charter and international law.

According to AZERNEWS, this was told by Azerbaijan's permanent representative to the UN Yashar Aliyev at a meeting of the UN Security Council.

“I would like to start my speech by categorically rejecting all unsubstantiated and unsubstantiated allegations of a “blockade” or “humanitarian crisis” spread by Armenia against my country.

What Armenia is trying to present as a humanitarian issue is in fact a provocative and irresponsible political campaign that is waged to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

It was Armenia that for almost 30 years brazenly ignored the four relevant UN resolutions of 1993 and a number of statements by the President of the Security Council, unequivocally demanding the complete, immediate, and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from the territory of Azerbaijan.

In this context, Armenia's actions are nothing less than the embodiment of pre-planned political hypocrisy and its appeal to the Security Council is part of a months-long campaign to manipulate and mislead the international community.

If Armenia had been sincere in its desire to help, it would have happened immediately. Recently, a few days ago, this actually became possible practically thanks to the active participation of international actors, including some members of the Security Council. This did not happen only because of the refusal of Armenia.

After a series of intensive consultations and efforts of "shuttle diplomacy", an agreement was finally reached on the delivery of humanitarian cargo to the Garabagh region by various routes, as well as on organizing a meeting of special representatives of the central government with local Armenian residents.

In the first case, in order for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to deliver humanitarian supplies to local residents, it was necessary to remove concrete blocks and all other physical obstacles installed by the Armenian side on the Aghdam-Khankendi road. This was followed by an expansion of the ICRC's use of the Lachin road within 24 hours. All parties involved, including the Russian peacekeeping contingent and the ICRC, were ready to begin the practical implementation of this agreement within an hour.

In the second case, an agreement was reached to hold a meeting between representatives of the central government and local Armenian residents in the nearby Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh.
Unfortunately, ten days ago, on August 5, Armenia abandoned both agreements at the last moment, putting forward politically motivated and illegal preconditions and various excuses through its illegitimate regime.

There is no doubt that, despite the close cooperation of Azerbaijan with the Russian Federation, the United States, the European Union and the ICRC to find ways out of the situation, Armenia deliberately hinders diplomatic efforts.

There is only one explanation for this. Armenia does not intend to resolve this issue. Instead, it artificially stirs up tensions in the region in order to continue to manipulate and confuse the international community.

Violation of the agreement on the delivery of humanitarian supplies through the ICRC on August 5 is not the only obstacle. In fact, this is a continuation of Armenia's attempt to politicize the presence and activities of this humanitarian organization in the territory, as well as to use humanitarian issues for political purposes, challenging the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and preventing the reintegration of local ethnic Armenians.

I would like to draw your attention to some of the following facts:

-Immediately after the end of the war in 2020, Azerbaijan offered the ICRC its logistics capabilities and infrastructure for the delivery of goods to the Garabagh region. In 2021, the ICRC's shipments to the area were transported to Barda. The Armenian side refused the cargo and prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid by the ICRC.

-Immediately after the start of protests by eco-activists on the Lachin-Khankendi road, Azerbaijan turned to the ICRC with a request to provide a list of goods needed by local residents and declared its readiness to provide all logistical and infrastructural support for their delivery. The ICRC replied that the Armenian side did not want any supplies through Azerbaijan.

-Abusing the mediation of the ICRC, Armenia took an unprecedented step by trying to smuggle dual-use technologies such as microchips into the Garabagh region. The ICRC was forced to acknowledge this fact, which seriously damaged the committee's humanitarian mandate and reputation.

-Armenia did not agree with the dispatch of international medical workers of the ICRC, who are in Baku, to Khankendi. This proposal was put forward by the ICRC to facilitate medical evacuations and help resolve medical issues on the spot, and it was supported by Azerbaijan.
Armenia's abuse of the ICRC for political purposes also clearly shows that calls for an increased international presence, including UN-affiliated organizations, have nothing to do with humanitarian concerns, on the contrary, the goal is to get more tools to manipulate.

The Garabagh region is an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians living there are considered residents of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani government is determined to guarantee and ensure that these residents have access to the necessary goods, as well as to create appropriate living conditions for them. These goals are fully consistent with international law and the principles of international humanitarian law, which testifies to Azerbaijan's unwavering commitment to comply with these standards.

The so-called "Lachin Corridor" is a road on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan, it does not have any extraterritorial status and, according to the tripartite Statement dated November 10, 2020, is intended primarily for the transportation of citizens, goods, and the passage of vehicles. Azerbaijan, remaining committed to its obligations under the tripartite Statement, gave permission for movement along this road.

Azerbaijan's position remains unchanged even after the establishment of a checkpoint on the border with Armenia.

The border checkpoint was created within the framework of the fundamental right of Azerbaijan to protect its sovereignty and ensure security and is designed to prevent the rotation by Armenia of about 10,000 military personnel illegally deployed on the territory of Azerbaijan, to prevent the transfer of weapons, ammunition, mines, and foreign terrorists, as well as the abuse of this route to for the purpose of illegal extraction and export of natural resources from this territory.

The International Court of Justice, by a unanimous decision of July 6, 2023, rejected Armenia's demand for temporary measures to abolish the checkpoint, strongly refuting the claims of the Armenian side about the illegality of the Lachin checkpoint.

The creation of a border checkpoint did not at all impede the passage of the civilian population along the Lachin road. Until June 15, 2023, the actual number of such passages has increased markedly. On that day, the Armenian armed forces attacked the Azerbaijani border guards and the Russian peacekeepers accompanying them, which became another example of Armenian provocations. The attack severely injured an Azerbaijani border guard while posing a direct threat to ICRC staff and civilians passing through the checkpoint.

At the same time, if Armenia really thought about the ordinary inhabitants of the region, then it would never object to the delivery of goods to the Garabagh region along the Aghdam-Khankendi road. This road is connected to one of Azerbaijan's main transport routes, the highway known as the "Silk Road" or M2, which provides reliable links to international markets. Compared to the 59 km Lachin-Khankendi road, which runs along mountain serpentines, the length of this road between Aghdam and Khankendi is only 18 km. Today, as part of a trip to Aghdam, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan, including the office of the UN Resident Coordinator and other UN structures, witnessed the functioning of the road and its readiness for the transport of goods.

The allegations of genocide are just as unfounded and false. The manipulative, deceitful campaign of Armenia against Azerbaijan is also reflected in the so-called "conclusion" of Luis Moreno Ocampo, who positions himself as an independent expert.

Recently, renowned international law expert Rodney Dixon, in a preliminary report, pointed out the fallacy of his claims. As stated in the conclusion of Mr. Dixon, the claims put forward by Moreno Ocampo are unfounded, incomplete, and full of inaccuracies. Thus, allegations that genocide is being committed in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan are completely groundless. Specifically, Mr. Dixon believes that Ocampo's conclusion takes a frankly selective approach to "facts", in particular, the selective nature of the conclusion is once again proved by the fact that it does not mention Armenia's rejection of Azerbaijan's proposal to use alternative ways to provide for ethnic Armenian residents.

Such manipulations under humanitarian pretexts occur at the same time as illegal and provocative military activities are on the rise. Over the past weeks, the Armenian armed forces, illegally remaining on the territory of Azerbaijan, which is a gross violation of international law, including Armenia's obligations under paragraph 4 of the tripartite Statement of the leaders of Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation, and Armenia on November 10, have intensified military engineering work and other military activity.

Of particular concern is the use of electronic warfare equipment illegally placed on the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. In recent weeks, civil aircraft not only of Azerbaijan Airlines but also of foreign countries have been subjected to electronic interference, which has created a serious threat to their safety.

Armenia must put an end to actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan, and join the negotiations on post-conflict normalization with all sincerity. It is vital that the historic opportunity for sustainable peace in the region not be missed.

Oral statements by the Armenian leadership on the recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, including the Garabagh region, have created the ground for cautious optimism that peace is indeed achievable. Now Armenia needs to turn this statement into real action and stop questioning the sovereignty of Azerbaijan, including under the pretext of the "humanitarian needs" of the local Armenian residents of the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan.

Over the past few months, joint efforts to intensify the normalization process, with the active participation of international partners, have yielded encouraging results. This diplomatic dialogue has played a decisive role in overcoming differences and achieving noticeable progress on a number of points of a future bilateral agreement aimed at establishing lasting peace and interstate relations.

Azerbaijan pursues a policy of reintegration of the ethnic Armenians of the Garabagh region as equal citizens and guarantees all the rights and freedoms provided for by the Constitution of Azerbaijan and all relevant international human rights mechanisms signed by Azerbaijan. We are determined to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity by all legal means enshrined in the UN Charter and international law, just as we are committed to these two noted paths.

We are confident that the international community and, above all, the Security Council will support this approach based on equality and mutual respect, in accordance with the legitimate interests of both countries through mutual recognition and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of each other's borders," Aliyev said in his speech.

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