The continuation of the aggressive policy of Armenia and its steps aimed at consolidating the current status quo based on military occupation, including the recent annexation statements by the leadership of this country, even if they were mainly intended for an internal audience, caused the escalation of the situation in the region. Along with a clear violation of international law, they created a very dangerous tension, practically casting doubt on the long-term efforts undertaken by international mediators to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Azerbaijani Government timely expressed a strong protest over the irresponsible rhetoric of the Armenian leadership, considering it as an attempt to disrupt the negotiation process, and this position was brought to the attention of international institutions. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan sent letters addressed to the UN and OSCE Secretary Generals, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, as well as the Foreign Ministers of the Minsk Group member countries, emphasizing that in their latest statements, the Armenian leadership directly admitted to pursuing an aggressive policy at the state level, which led to the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and bloody ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population historically residing there, and also drawing attention to international legal responsibility of a military occupation, and noted that the strong position of the international community should not allow aggressor state Armenia feel impunity. On this issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent the appropriate note verbales to all member states of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
In her comments, the Official Representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, expressing concern over the situation, said that the statements should fit into the context of the general efforts aimed at a peaceful settlement, and they should not lead to an imbalance in the fragile negotiation process. The US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, expressing his attitude to the statements of the Prime Minister of Armenia, also pointed out the need to refrain from rhetoric that promotes violence and increases tension, and urged the parties to focus on the dialogue process.
The essence of the negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict conducted over many years with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries is about ensuring the resolution of the conflict on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, including decisions and resolutions of international organizations, primarily the well-known UN Security Council resolutions. And this, as was repeatedly indicated in the statements of the co-chairing countries, including the one issued on March 9, 2019, envisages the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and ensuring the return of displaced persons to their homes in safety and dignity.
It is unacceptable that Armenia, which carried out military occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, subjected the local Azerbaijani population to bloody ethnic cleansing, hides behind the noble goals of the principle of self-determination enshrined in international law to mask its occupation policy. The Azerbaijani side has always stated and insisted that the issue of the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country can be considered only with the joint participation of the both communities after ensuring the safe and dignified return of the expelled Azerbaijani community to their homelands in Nagorno-Karabakh.
It is known that the Armenian side is closely acquainted with the decisions and resolutions adopted by international organizations to resolve the conflict, as well as with the mandate of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. As noted in the statements of the latter, a peaceful settlement of the conflict should be based on the UN Charter, the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, decisions and resolutions of the UN Security Council and the OSCE.
The irresponsible and destructive position of the Armenian leadership not only doesn’t serve the purpose of a peaceful resolution of the conflict as hypocritically stated in Yerevan, but on the contrary, it goes against the essence of the latest discussions on the settlement and aims to try to destroy the negotiation process.
Mr. Pashinyan should also make clear that a party that leaves the negotiation process under pressure from national provocateurs will definitely be a losing side. Therefore, he has no choice but to negotiate with Azerbaijan through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. And the faster the Armenian leadership begins to move in that direction in a consistent and irreversible way, the sooner the Armenian people will be able to enter the path of sustainable development in peace with their neighbors.
At the same time, we again remind the Armenian side that, in accordance with the Article 25 of the UN Charter, all Member States must implement the decisions of the Security Council. If the requirements of this provision are not fulfilled by Armenia, then the leadership of this country should not in any way doubt that Azerbaijan will restore its sovereignty within internationally recognized borders under the Article 51 of the UN Charter.