By Vafa Ismayilova
An Azerbaijani serviceman has been killed in a terror attack committed by illegal Armenian groups on the Azerbaijani territory under the Russian peacekeepers' temporary control, the Defence Ministry reported on October 14.
New terror attack
Azerbaijani army soldier Afgan Hamzayev was martyred as a result of sniper fire opened by illegal Armenian armed groups at about 1815 on October 14, the report added.
"A request has been sent to the Russian-Turkish Joint Monitoring Center to investigate this terrorist act. The terrorist act committed by Armenian-backed Armenian illegal military detachments during the meeting of the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Minsk with the mediation of the Russian Federation is a deliberate provocation," the ministry said.
It stressed that "this is another proof of Armenia's policy of deliberately aggravating the situation in the region, obstructing the implementation of the provisions of the joint statement signed on November 10, 2020, and overshadowing the activities of Russian peacekeepers".
The ministry said that under its laws Azerbaijan will take decisive steps to neutralize the illegal Armenian armed groups that committed the terrorist act and will ensure that they respond before the law.
Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the terrorist attack.
"This provocation, perpetrated by illegal Armenian armed groups supported by Armenia, is a gross violation of Armenia's obligations under the trilateral declaration of November 10, 2020, and contributes to the escalation of the situation in the region," the ministry said.
It stressed that the provocation committed during the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers through Russia's mediation "demonstrates the revanchist position of the Armenian side, as well as attempts to obstruct the activities of the Russian peacekeepers".
Azerbaijani, Russian, Armenian FMs meet in Minsk
It should be noted that the attack took place while the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian foreign ministers met in Minsk within their participation in the meeting of the Council of the CIS foreign ministers.
At the Russia-initiated meeting, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov expressed Azerbaijan's position on the post-war regional situation and the normalization of Azerbaijani-Armenian ties.
The minister stressed the importance of the full implementation of the trilateral statements signed by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on November 10, 2020, which ended the Second Karabakh War and envisioned the opening of all transport communications in the region and on January 11, 2021, which confirmed provisions of the November 10, 2020, statement.
Bayramov also expressed Azebaijan's readiness to normalize relations with Armenia on the basis of respect for the principles of international law, in particular, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of the borders of states.
In this context, he noted the importance of the start of negotiations on the process of delimitation of the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Moreover, Bayramov emphasized the importance of the implementation of agreements on the opening of all transport communications in the region.
He recalled the danger of landmines on the Azerbaijani territories liberated from the Armenian occupation, which poses a direct threat to people's lives and stressed the need for providing exact maps of minefields by Armenia.
Provocations before terror attack
On October 14, Azerbaijan downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) of illegal Armenian armed detachments on its territory under the Russian peacekeepers' control. The UAV tried to carry out reconnaissance flights over the positions of the Azerbaijan army in the direction of liberated Fuzuli region.
At about 1400 on October 13, an Azerbaijani civilian convoy moving from Tartar region's Sugovushan settlement to Kalbajar to build civil infrastructure there was fired on by illegal Armenian armed groups located in the area controlled by the Russian peacekeepers.
As a result of the incident, the front, rear, wheel and movement mechanisms of the car, which belonged to the Azerbaijani army's military police moving in front of the convoy were damaged. No casualties were reported among the Azerbaijani personnel.
The Defence Ministry described as unacceptable the fact that a civilian convoy, which carried materials for the reconstruction in the liberated lands and escorted by Russian peacekeepers, was fired on by illegal Armenian armed groups.
The ministry appealed to the Russian peacekeeping command temporarily stationed in a certain part of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh Economic Region and the Russian-Turkish Joint Monitoring Center to investigate the incident.
About 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been deployed for five years in Karabakh under the trilateral cease-fire deal signed by Baku, Moscow and Yerevan on 10 November 2020. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw all its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it had occupied since the early 1990s.
The deal also stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the peace deal, Azerbaijan liberated 300 villages, settlements, city centers, and historic Shusha city that had been under Armenian occupation for about 30 years.
On August 11, 2021, Azerbaijan urged the Russian peacekeepers to end the illegal deployment of Armenian troops on Azerbaijan’s territories under their temporary control.
Later on August 14, President Ilham Aliyev reiterated that Azerbaijan had identified that Armenian troops were being sent to Karabakh via the Lachin corridor that is controlled by the Russian peacekeepers and stressed that this contradicted the 10 November deal.
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