YEREVAN — The Armenian government has again accused Azerbaijan of planning to launch fresh military aggression against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, responding to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest statements.
Speaking during a summit of Turkic nations held in Turkey on Thursday, Aliyev said Armenia should be “held responsible” for its refusal to given Azerbaijan an exterritorial land corridor to the Nakhichevan exclave.
Aliyev said Yerevan must also allow the return of thousands of Azerbaijanis who fled Soviet Armenia following the outbreak of the Karabakh conflict in 1988. He described them as the people of “western Azerbaijan” and said they must enjoy the kind of “individual rights and security” which Baku is ready to ensure for the Karabakh Armenians.
In a statement issued later in the day, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said Aliyev’s comments amount to territorial claims to Armenia.
“Presenting the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia under the fictitious name “Western Azerbaijan,” the President of Azerbaijan grossly violates the UN Charter, the UN GA Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the UN Charter, the Alma-Ata Declaration, but also his own commitments undertaken by the Prague and Sochi statements to which he is referring in this exact speech,” the Ministry stated.
It said “Azerbaijan continuously obstructs the return of refugees and internally displaced persons to Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions, while at the same time announcing that it is going to resettle the territories that came under its control as a result of the deportation of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Having violated basically all the articles of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020 and with the rhetoric, which he himself admits as fictitious, about the corridors the President of Azerbaijan is obstructing the process of opening of regional communications,” the statement reads.
“The bellicose rhetoric of the leader of Azerbaijan is aimed at completely disrupting the efforts to establish stability in the South Caucasus and resorting to the use of large-scale force against both the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Moreover, the insulting language used against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is accompanied by actions aimed at creating a humanitarian catastrophe on the ground, demonstrates Azerbaijan’s unconcealed policy of ethnic cleansing at the highest level,” the Ministry said.
Moreover, it added, “voicing such provocative theses in Ankara aims not only to undermine the ongoing peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also to hinder the positive dynamics in the process of normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations.”
“All partners interested in the stability and peace of the region should give an assessment to this policy of the President of Azerbaijan without any hesitation and take active steps to eliminate the violations of international law by Azerbaijan and exclude the manifestations of the use of force,” the Foreign Ministry concluded.