Commentary by the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Following the failure of Armenia's attack on the Azerbaijani positions on July 12-16, 2020 along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border in the direction of the Tovuz district to realize its aggressive military strategy aimed at a "new war for new territories", Armenia’s political-military leadership continues its provocative steps and statements to compensate the failure of the latest military venture and divert attention from the growing socio-economic and political crisis in the country. All of this is a clear manifestation of Armenia's intention not to eliminate the consequences of the conflict, but rather to strengthen the situation of occupation created by the illegal use of force.
Following the statements by Armenian military and political circles that massive settlements and strategically important civilian facilities such as Mingachevir Hydroelectric Power Station of the Republic of Azerbaijan were considered as "military targets", the Armenian side tries to threaten via the so-called "head" of the illegal regime in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, to strike Ganja city of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
All of this exposes the terrorist nature of Armenia, which does not give up its aggressive policy. Becoming helpless both domestically and internationally, Armenia, after its military provocations have been resolutely repelled by the military power and high professionalism of the Azerbaijani Army, has once again resorted to its traditional method of targeting civilian objects and population aimed at creating fear among the civilians, typical to terrorist organizations.
Armenia not hesitating to abuse once again the humanitarian hardships in the Middle East for its nefarious political purposes has declared its plan to illegally settle ethnic Armenians from Lebanon in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, following the horrific explosion in the Lebanese city of Beirut.
The Armenian side has also stated its intention to relocate some of the so-called "official bodies" to Shusha city through the illegal regime created by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
This despicable intention regarding the city of Shusha, which is of exceptional importance to the people of Azerbaijan in terms of its cultural, historical and spiritual features, is another attempt to strengthen the policy of ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Restoration of the rights of the Azerbaijani population expelled from their native lands and their safe and dignified return to the permanent settlements in all the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its city of Shusha, is a red line in the settlement process of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Armenia's failure to renounce this intention, which we consider to be a crossing of this line, threatens to cause serious consequences.
In the context of illegal economic and other activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Armenia is taking steps to change the infrastructure of the Sarsang Reservoir. Armenia's steps regarding the Sarsang Reservoir are of illegal nature, with illegal exploitation of Azerbaijan's natural resources and violation of the state and private property rights. Since the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, Armenia has been using the Sarsang Reservoir as an instrument of ecological terror, depriving the Azerbaijani citizens living near the occupied territories of Azerbaijan from water resources, resulting in serious damage to the ecological situation and biodiversity in those areas. These are unequivocally enshrined in Resolution 2085 (2016) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Efforts to change the Reservoir's infrastructure should be considered as the following step in the policy of environmental terrorism of Armenia.
In addition, all infrastructure changes conducted in the occupied territories, including the construction of roads connecting Armenia and the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, as well as all actions in relation to the Sarsang Reservoir, serve the illegal settlement policy carried out by Armenia, which is aimed at attracting more ethnic Armenians for settlement in the occupied territories.
Armenia must stop trying the patience of the international community, especially the Government and the society of Azerbaijan with its provocative illegal activities and provocative statements.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan unambiguously states that the Republic of Azerbaijan is committed and determined to take all necessary steps while using all possibilities provided by the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and international law in order to restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders, to protect the constitutional order, to provide the security, rights, and freedoms of its citizens.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan informed the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs about these provocative attempts of Armenia aimed at purposefully aggravating the situation in the region and completely destroying the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. It is important to give the adequate response to the above-mentioned actions by Armenia, to make it refrain from other actions that could lead to the serious dangerous consequences for the whole region and to bring it back to the negotiations aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict, the political and legal framework of which has been defined in accordance with the four related resolutions of the UN Security Council (822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993), 884) (1993) and the OSCE decisions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will further continue to take the necessary steps using all political and diplomatic mechanisms to stop the illegal activities of Armenia and to eliminate its consequences.