YEREVAN — The Armenian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday rejected Azerbaijan’s strong criticism of its latest arms deal with France, calling it a further sign that Baku is planning a “new aggression” against Armenia.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry denounced the deal on Tuesday as “another proof of France’s provocative actions in the South Caucasus” that will create a new regional “hotbed of war.” A senior aide to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said it dealt a serious blow to efforts to end the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

“It is the sovereign right of any country to have combat-ready army equipped with modern military equipment,” Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The Republic of Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of all its neighbors. Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed at the highest level that they recognize each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty based on the 1991 Alma-Ata Declaration. The Republic of Armenia adheres to this principle and has no ambitions beyond its internationally recognized territory of 29,743 square kilometers. The Republic of Armenia has practically proven this approach by demarcating four villages in the Tavush region of the Republic of Armenia and Ghazakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan,” it stated.

It called on Azerbaijan to put an end to the occupation of vital areas of more than 30 villages of the Republic of Armenia.

“Azerbaijan’s practice of predicting regional escalations at every opportunity is thought-provoking and comes to justify the analyzes made by a number of centers that Azerbaijan will do everything to abort the process of concluding a peace agreement with Armenia, in order to undertake new aggression against the Republic of Armenia after the COP29 summit in Baku in November 2024,” the Ministry noted.

It draw the attention of the international community to this, as well as to the fact that official Yerevan’s proposal to conclude a peace agreement within one month remained unresponsive by official Baku.

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