Azerbaijan says incidents to end once Armenian troops leave occupied lands

Azerbaijan says incidents to end once Armenian troops leave occupied lands
# 21 November 2016 14:46 (UTC +04:00)

Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. The withdrawal of Armenia’s armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijan territories will put an end to incidents and there will no longer be a need to investigate the incidents, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesperson for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry, told APA on Monday.

“Incident investigation mechanisms are not a goal, but an auxiliary tool that can contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said Hajiyev. “Indeed we must first start with the question ‘why do these incidents happen?”, said Hajiyev.

In recent days, Armenia’s foreign minister and other officials have made various statements distorting facts on the investigation of incidents on the line of contact between the troops of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

He recalled the Azerbaijani president’s speech at the Munich Security Conference.

“Azerbaijan's president made the following remarks in his extensive and pithy speech at the Munich Security Conference: ‘The question is, what are Armenian troops doing in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan? What is an Armenian soldier doing in Aghdam? If he doesn’t want to die, let him not go to Aghdam. Let him stay in where he has always been—in Yerevan, Gyumri, wherever’,” said Hajiyev.

He stressed that Yerevan deliberately pushes into the background the issue of Armenian troops’ withdrawal from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which is considered the most important part of the conflict’s settlement.

“Instead, Yerevan highlights the importance of a technical and auxiliary means such as incident investigation mechanisms and turns this matter into political speculation,” said Hajiyev.

“It’s absolutely clear that Yerevan, under the guise of these mechanisms, strives to consolidate the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and maintain the status quo, which was recognized unacceptable and unsustainable in the statements made by the OSCE Minsk Group at the level of presidents,” he added.

Hajiyev emphasized that Azerbaijan has repeatedly expressed its readiness to consider incident investigation mechanisms as part of the process of withdrawal of Armenian troops from its occupied territories

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.

A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.

The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.

Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.

Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.

Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno Garabagh