YEREVAN — The Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has strongly condemned the joint visit of the Presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan to the Armenian historic and cultural center of Artsakh – Shushi, which is currently under the Azerbaijani occupation, as an outright provocation against regional peace and security.

“It is noteworthy that this visit was preceded by the destruction of the religious, historical and cultural heritage of the forcibly displaced indigenous Armenian population, including the desecration of the St. Holy Savior Ghazanchetsots Cathedral – targeted by the Turkish-Azerbaijani forces during and after the war against Artsakh, as well as the complete destruction of the memorial commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide,” the Ministry said.

“Such actions of the Turkish and Azerbaijani authorities, aimed at consolidating the consequences of the use of force against the people of Artsakh, significantly undermine the international efforts to establish stability in the region and are utterly unacceptable. Restoration of the rights of the Armenians of Artsakh, which includes de-occupation of the territories of the Republic of Artsakh and safe return of the displaced population, is essential for overcoming the Turkish-Azerbaijani genocidal threat against the Armenian people,” the statement reads.

According to the Foreign Ministry, these provocative actions clearly reveal the false and misleading nature of the statements coming from the official Ankara and Baku on their intentions to normalize the  relations with Armenia and the Armenian people.

“We once again emphasize that the elimination of the consequences of the recent Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh should be undertaken within the frameworks of the comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co Chairmanship,” the Ministry stated.

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