Interview of the Ambassador Elin Suleymanov, entitled "U.S., other powers must restrain aggressor Armenia" has been published in the US prestigious newspaper Washington Times, APA reports.
While answering journalist's question on reason of escalation of tension in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, he said that the latest provocation by Armenia follows the July 12-14 attacks against Azerbaijan across the international border in the Tovuz region in the vicinity of regional oil and gas pipelines, a vital part of Europe’s energy security.
"Similarly, the transportation infrastructure and the air corridor connecting Europe and Asia, including NATO transit to Afghanistan, pass through the same territory.
Extensive damage has been inflicted on many homes and other civilian infrastructure, including hospitals [and] medical centers. Targeting civilians is not [incidental] but a deliberate policy of the Armenian armed forces trying to expand the policy of total ethnic cleansing they used in the 1990s.
By attacking civilian targets, Armenia doubles down on its earlier terror tactic of causing mass displacement of Azerbaijan’s population. Armenia’s military commanders openly state that they have given direct orders to attack civilian targets", he added.
E. Suleymanov noted that it is important to remember that all the fighting is taking place within the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, it is Armenia that has occupied and committed ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijani lands for the last three decades. We do hope for the soonest resolution of the conflict, which would bring about lasting peace based on international law. It would also allow for both the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh to live next to each other in peace and security.
A lasting peace would allow for the region to realize its full potential and for Armenia to finally cease being an externally dependent relic and to integrate with its neighbors.
Elin Suleymanov said that Armenia needs to commit to fulfilling the four U.N. Security Council resolutions unequivocally calling for withdrawal of Armenian troops and respect to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
While answering question on Russian-Armenian cooperation, Ambassador noted that Armenian leaders are desperately trying to provoke an Azerbaijani response against the territory of the Republic of Armenia, hoping to invoke treaty obligations of Russia within the Collective Security Treaty Organization. This shows Armenia’s intent to expand the scope of this conflict by dragging Russia directly into this confrontation as well as total disregard to safety of its own population. While Azerbaijan appreciates Turkey’s moral and diplomatic support as well as its clear demand to end Armenia’s illegal occupation … Turkey is neither directly involved and is not a party to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, nor does Turkish military participate in fighting.
Touching upon US participation in the conflict, Ambassador said that the United States is both a Minsk Group co-chair and a U.N. Security Council permanent member. Therefore, the U.S. should have a keen interest in implementing the peace plan and the decisions by both international organizations, respectively.
So far, the United States has been assertive and vocal in calling for cease-fire and protection of civilians; now it should actively push for peace by convincing Armenia to end hostilities within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders and begin withdrawing.
Full interview can be accessed: