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Armenia’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the latests military provocation by Azerbaijani forces, which resulted in the death of Armenian soldiers, private Vahani Vardanyan on Saturday. The foreign ministry also said that President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, through his “destructive, belligerent and superfluous” remarks, was making territorial claims against the sovereignty of Armenia.

In an interview with Armenpress, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan responded to the remarks made by Aliyev, who on Friday said that there is no Nagorno Karabakh, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved, there is no OSCE Minsk Group.

DCO Global News
Published on June 1, 2022
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

The Armenia-Azerbaijan border

In its statement issued on Sunday, the foreign ministry said that since May 2021, units of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan have illegally invaded the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia in the Sotk-Khoznavar section, occupying an area of more than 45 square kilometers.

“The incident of May 28 and similar provocations, regular ceasefire violations once again justify the need for a mirror withdrawal of troops from the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the deployment of an observation mission on the border, which has been repeatedly raised by the Armenian side,” the Ministry said in a statement.

“Taking into consideration that the Commission on Border Delimitation and Security between Armenia and Azerbaijan has already started its work, this incident should be investigated and assessed by the commission,” the statement reads.

At the same time, the Foreign Ministry said, that the consequences of the previous gross violation of the ceasefire established by the November 9, 2020 statement, as a result of which the Azerbaijani Armed Forces invaded the village of Parukh in Nagorno Karabakh, which is under the responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping troops, are yet to be dealt with.

“We consider it important that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the CSTO, the European Union and the entire international community give a proper and targeted assessment of Azerbaijan’s provocative actions and statements, aggressive rhetoric aimed at undermining peace efforts in the South Caucasus,” the foreign ministry added.

In his interview with Armenpress that was published on Saturday, Mirzoyan said that there is a document bearing Aliyev’s signature that acknowledges the existence of Nagorno-Karabakh. He was referring to the November 9, 2020 agreement signed by Aliyev, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mirzoyan explained that by signing the document, Aliyev acknowledged the very existence of Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that “this is an irrevocable fact.”

“We can show the official statements made by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, where they reaffirm their commitment as Co-Chairs. The United States and France made such statements only in the last week. The Prime Minister of Armenia and President of the Russian Federation also emphasized the role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in their joint statement on April 19,” said Mirzoyan.

“At the December 2021 summit of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm, the foreign ministers of dozens of countries stressed the exclusive role of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The OSCE Minsk Group was not created by Azerbaijan, but by the international community, so Azerbaijan cannot dissolve it or consider its mission over,” explained Mirzoyan in his Armenpress interview.

“The same international community states today that the OSCE MG exists. As I mentioned, it also states that there is a Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that needs to be resolved. This is stated in the above-mentioned statement of the Prime Minister of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation. The US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Armenia stated this quite recently, expressing the official position of the U.S.,” added the foreign minister.

“Moreover, in the same statement, it was emphasized that the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh status is on the agenda, the right of Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination is also on the agenda. By the way, Armenia has never had territorial claims from Azerbaijan.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a matter of right and is perceived by the international community as so. And that is evidenced from the meeting in Brussels. We have stated that the page of the war is closed for us, there is a problem that must be solved through political and diplomatic means,” said Mirzoyan.

In his Armenpress interview, Mirzoyan touched on another claim made by Aliyev, who said on Friday that during his meeting with Pashinyan in Brussels, an agreement was reached to create the so-called “Zangezur Corridor,” adding the envisioned road that is to connect mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan will run through Meghri.

Mirzoyan categorically rejected that statement.

“We have continuously recorded Armenia’s position. But let us repeat again. The existence of any corridor in the territory of Armenia is ruled out. This is not even a matter of debate. Our discussions are exclusively about opening roads, transport and economic communications and unblocking them,” said Mirzoyan.

“As for the routes, we said that before clarifying the routes, we must first agree on the legal regulations for the passage of Azerbaijani citizens and cargo through our territory and the passage of Armenian citizens and cargo through Azerbaijan (including Nakhichevan).

However, it is obvious that one branch of the railway will pass through Meghri, Ordubad, Julfa, Yeraskh. There is no agreement on the route of the highways at the moment,” added Mirzoyan.

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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