By Amina Nazarli
The tense situation on the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops has become one of the main topics at the plenary session of the Azerbaijani Parliament on April 5.
The session started with a minute of silence in honor of Azerbaijani servicemen killed during the operations on the frontline, following which Parliamentary Speaker Ogtay Asadov thanked the national army for the successful operation.
“For many years Azerbaijan respected the ceasefire. Every time achieving great successes, Azerbaijan faced Armenian sabotage. But during the past years, our civilians were subjected to Armenians artillery shelling. This time, our army responded to the Armenian diversion by holding a strong operation and put Armenians in their place,” he said.
The speaker further hailed the fact that the Azerbaijani army has taken control of important strategic heights.
Asadov noted that after Azerbaijan's armed forces took control of a number of important strategic heights, Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan said that if the Azerbaijani army returns to their former positions, Armenia agrees to compromise.
"We don't need any compromises, Armenia must withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani lands," said the speaker.
“Armenia calls on old people to join the army, as follows from disseminated information. It indicates that there are no young people in Armenia; they left the country,” noted Asadov, adding that with such forces Armenia cannot solve any problem with Azerbaijan.
Long-simmering tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again on April 2 when the Armenian side began to shell the Azerbaijani positions and settlements along the frontline.
This resulted in the killing of two civilians and injuring of 10 another, including a 13-year-old child. More than 10 houses as well as local people`s property were also damaged.
To protect civilian population, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched counter attacks and repulsed the enemy forces back. The Azerbaijani troops retook hills around the village of Talish capable of posing threat to Goranboy region and the town of Naftalan, as well as Seysulan settlement, and also took over Lele Tepe hill located in the direction of the Fuzuli region.
First Vice-Speaker of the Parliament Ziyafat Askerov also reminded that Armenia has not complied with a ceasefire reached back in 1994.
“Every day soldiers and civilians, including children and the elderly, were killed on the contact line. However, the Azerbaijani side has always been for the peace and the negotiation process,” he said, adding that now Azerbaijan made a conclusion that the international law is no longer valid in this conflict.
“In this case, Azerbaijan has demonstrated its strength. Until today, we have demonstrated commitment to the principles of international law, and this will continue. But sometimes it is necessary to demonstrate the power so that the enemy knows its place. The enemy now is aware of the Azerbaijani Army’s power. Azerbaijan was armed not for parades, but for this day, and the enemy has experienced this,” he said.
MP Gudrat Hasanguliyev, addressing the session, announced that he will transfer his salary to the fund, adding that Armenian army is broken, and Azerbaijan must destroy the enemy army.
The MPs backed the proposal and voiced readiness to transfer their salary to the Fund.
MP Siyavush Novruzov further said that queues of volunteers, who are ready to join the fights to liberate the occupied territories, have been lined up in the offices for the mobilization and conscription.
“Every citizen of Azerbaijan, regardless of age, is ready to fight in the ranks of the Armed Forces,” he said.
The MP noted that the international organizations have already realized that the frozen conflict does not mean peace and the conflict can flare up with renewed vigor at any time, leading to very serious consequences.
“The international organizations once again saw that due to ineffective activity of the OSCE Minsk Group, the settlement of this conflict is deliberately delayed. Armenia believed that a new generation in Azerbaijan would forget about Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied lands, and hoped that the level of combat capability would fall. But the opposite has happened. Every Azerbaijani youth is ready to go to war, holding a flag in hands,” the MP said.
MP Ganira Pashayeva, in turn, offered to write off loan debts of the servicemen killed during the recent operations on the contact line, as well as their families.
She said that such a move on the part of banks will be well received by the public.
Despite Azerbaijan's decision on unilateral suspension of the counter-attacks and response measures in the territories occupied by Armenia, the Armenian Armed Forces resumed shelling of Azerbaijani positions along the line of contact on the night of April 4.
Azerbaijan`s defense ministry announced that Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to cease operations on the line of contact starting from 12.00, April 5.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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