Hikmat Hajiyev: 1994-1995 ceasefire agreement includes timetable for Armenian troopsâ€™ withdrawal from occupied Azerbaijani lands
- 11 January 2017
- Though the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs urge the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to stop blaming each other, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian again made accusations while commenting on the co-chairs’ latest statement. What would you say about it?
As mentioned by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, though we were not going to come up with any comments in order to avoid recriminations, we had to respond to the accusations voiced by Armenian FM Nalbandian commenting on the co-chairs’ latest statement. The statement by Armenia’s foreign minister is nothing but an attempt to justify a failed policy and provocations of his country, to deceive the Armenian people and international community. To this event, Nalbandian does not even refrain from accusing the Minsk Group. He distorts the ceasefire agreement of 1994-1995, the mechanisms for investigation of incidents, the outcomes of the Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings and hypocritically ignores the co-chairs’ appeal to return the body of the killed Azerbaijani soldier.
- The Armenian side often recalls the ceasefire agreement of 1994-1995. What is the reason?
The Armenian foreign minister has touched only upon one episode of the ceasefire agreement. We should remind to Nalbandian, who suffers from institutional memory loss, that a timetable for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories was adjusted as a special agreement to the 1994-1995 ceasefire agreement. If Nalbandian claims that the agreement has to be fulfilled, then Armenia must pull its troops out of the occupied Azerbaijani territories in accordance with the timetable which is an integral part of the agreement. Despite the fact that the ceasefire agreement must create the conditions for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and a political settlement of the conflict, Armenia has so far been abusing the ceasefire regime and turning it into an object of political speculation in order to continue and consolidate the occupation.
- Armenia’s foreign minister often brings up the creation of mechanisms for investigation of incidents.
This claim of the Armenian foreign minister is illogical and absolutely contrary to the cause-and-effect category. Although all are aware that causes always precede effects, the Armenian foreign minister still fails and do not want to understand it. Incidents are effects, and the cause is the presence of the Armenian troops in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. There will be no cause for incidents and ultimately no reason to investigate them after the Armenian troops completely and unconditionally withdraw from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884). In accordance with the substantive talks held in Vienna and St. Petersburg on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the technical support task such as the investigation of incidents should be an integral part of the process of Armenian troops’ withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Armenia, in order to avoid a settlement based on substantive talks, deliberately focuses the attention on issues such as the investigation of incidents.
- Despite the fact that the latest statement by the Minsk Group co-chairs requires the immediate return of the body of the killed Azerbaijani soldier, the Armenian foreign minister does not touch upon this issue.
It is completely clear that on 29 December 2016, Armenia deliberately made a diversion attempt at the Azerbaijani border. The immediate commencement of Armenia’s disinformation propaganda and irresponsible comments by the former CSTO secretary general, Nikolay Bordyuzha, who is known for his pro-Armenian position, once again prove that the provocation was pre-planned. Such a dangerous military adventure in Armenia is aimed at involving the CSTO in the conflict and undermining the negotiation process through provocations. Apparently, Armenia's political and military leadership is ready to resort to any lie for vile purposes. Although the co-chairs made a statement on purely humanitarian grounds calling for the immediate return of the body of the Azerbaijani soldier, the Armenian Foreign Ministry prefers to remain silent. Nalbandian is trying to justify Armenia’s inhumane policy, which in complete contrast with international law and the Geneva Conventions. Armenia still calls the Azerbaijani soldier who went missing as a result of the latest Armenian diversion at the border “saboteur.” How could a regular soldier ever be a saboteur with no special provision, uniform, and arms? In keeping with the Geneva Conventions, the necessary actions are being taken in coordination with international organizations to urge Armenia to hand over the body of Azerbaijani soldier Chingiz Gurbanov.
The Minsk Group co-chairs, CSTO member states and the international community should seriously consider Armenia’s attempts of military adventure and ugly intention, which threatens regional peace and security and aims to inhibit the peace negotiations.
In accordance with the Vienna and Saint Petersburg meetings, the Azerbaijani side, along with the Minsk Group co-chairs, will continue efforts to systematically resolve the conflict through substantive talks and restore lasting peace and security in the region.
Armenia should give up on its policy which promises new challenges and military adventures to the region, end the occupiation of Azerbaijani territories, and take constructive steps to settle the conflict. The sooner this conflict ends, the sooner will the Armenian people be able to benefit from regional cooperation.