Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan expresses deep concern over recent intensification of provocations of Armenia aimed at undermining the negotiations of Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings and the efforts on the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by peaceful means and expanding the scope of the conflict. Herewith, the Ministry states the following:

Reconnaissance-subversive group of Armenian armed forces perpetrated the next provocative act by violating the state border of Armenia and Azerbaijan on December 29, 2016. This provocative act by Armenian armed forces has been halted and Armenian reconnaissance-subversive group was forced to retreat with losses. The serviceman of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan Chingiz Gurbanov was killed while preventing the attack and his corpse was taken to Armenian side.

Initially, Armenian side denied that they have the body of Azerbaijani serviceman. However, later Armenian side with a view of hiding its responsibility for the incident and misleading the international community attempted to present the situation as the violation of the state border of Armenia. Contrary to the moral and ethical norms and basic human values, Armenian side resorted to dirty propaganda and disinformation by sharing photos of the killed Azerbaijani serviceman in social networks.

Numerous signs of torture after death were also registered on the bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen killed during the April battles occurred with the provocation and instigation of Armenian side. Their photos were also shared in media and social networks by Armenia. Couple of years ago the body of Mubariz Ibrahimov, serviceman of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan was also kept by Armenia, acts of vandalism were committed on the body and only after persistent international pressure his body was returned to Azerbaijan few months later.

Ignoring international humanitarian law, the Republic of Armenia pursues a systematic policy of committing acts of vandalism on the bodies of killed servicemen during combat operations and in a consistent manner makes the return of bodies the object of political speculation. We stand hopeful that the necessary and urgent measures by international humanitarian organizations, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross which guided by the principles of compassion and humanism will be taken to ensure the return of Chingiz Gurbanov’s body to Azerbaijan.

Abusing his authority with regard to the above-mentioned issue, the Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Nikolai Bordyuzha distorted the essence of the incident and claimed that it happened in the territory of Armenia. Besides it, addressing the illegal regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as “nagorno-karabakh republic”, he attempted to question the territorial integrity, sovereignty and internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. This irresponsible statement by the CSTO Secretary-General serves to undermine the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, as well as is contrary to the basic principles of the relationship with the other member states of organization which support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan. N.Bordyuzha made biased statements on the conflict in the past, as well.

Attempts by Armenia to bring the armed conflict directly to the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and to involve the CSTO in the conflict by misusing the politicians like N.Bordyuzha which have particular attitude and sympathy towards Armenia serve for the escalation of the political situation in the region and pose serious threats to the regional stability and security. 

We reject this irresponsible statement by N.Bordyuzha and expect other member states of the organization to come up with the proper assessment.

The Republic of Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that continuation of aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan and the illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is the main cause of the escalation and incidents in the conflict zone and the principal impediment to the political settlement of the conflict. 

The Republic of Azerbaijan calls upon the international community to enforce Armenia for peace and demand the implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

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