YEREVAN — Addressing the third forum of MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) graduates, which is being held in Armenia on October 22-24 President Serzh Sarkisian slammed Azerbaijan as it continues to reject the proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and periodically violates the ceasefire agreement, which has also led to victims among civilians.

Azerbaijan’s claims to Nagorno Karabakh are void of any historic, legal, political or moral ground, President Sarkisian stated.

“Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire regime in the Karabakh-Azerbaijani line of contact recently using heavy weapons. Azerbaijan continues to violate all the norms of international law and the commitments made to reach the road of conflict resolution,” Sarkisian emphasized.

The Armenian leader also addressed Azerbaijan’s periodical references to four UN Security Council resolutions on conflict resolution, saying that Baku thus justifies its destructive actions, but itself violates these resolutions. “The people of Nagorno Karabakh are struggling for their indisputable right for self-determination, a right enshrined in the UN Charter and other founding documents of international law. Nagorno Karabakh has proven its right to exist through a persistent centuries-long struggle. Nagorno Karabakh has never been part of independent Azerbaijan,” he added.

“A new formation called Azerbaijan appeared on the political map of the South Caucasus after the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1918. Therefore, the claims that Nagorno Karabakh belonged to Azerbaijan before 1918 are absolutely improper, since the state never existed before. The League of Nations turned down newly-formed Azerbaijan’s bid for membership because of the uncertainty of its borders. Azerbaijanis tried to annex Karabakh by force. Between 1918 and 1920 the Azerbaijani military units committed a massacre of the Armenian population. Over 40 thousand Armenians were killed or deported from Shushi, the regional cultural center, only in March 1920. This terrible massacre left a deep and bleeding wound,” the Armenian President said.

President Sarkisian added that at the moment of collapse of the Soviet Union, there were two independent and equal subjects formed on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan – the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

“Azerbaijan, which had a second chance to create an independent state, repeated the attempt of 1918, launching an aggression against Nagorno Karabakh, shelling peaceful cities and villages, killing and deporting Armenians,” he said.

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