Statement of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan

In order to compensate for its defeat in the military field, Armenia unsuccessfully tries to replicate slanderous accusations against Azerbaijan. In this regard, unreasonable and absurd allegations are made that the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan are attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure in the occupied territories, that the Armed Forces of Turkey are participating in the military operations of Azerbaijan and that mercenaries from some conflict zones in the Middle East are participating in operations against Armenia.

Armenia's claims against Azerbaijan regarding civilians and infrastructure are, at a minimum, false and unfounded, since it was precise as a result of Armenia's policy of ethnic cleansing from the line of contact that all civilians were expelled from their homes. There was no infrastructure left in these territories, except for the military, formed by Armenia to continue the occupation.

In contrast, in the territories along the contact line controlled by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, there are densely populated settlements and supporting civilian infrastructure. Throughout the conflict, these settlements have constantly been targeted by armed forces of Armenia and as a result of recent attacks these settlements have been suffering serious damage, casualties among the civilian population continue to be registered.

Portraying Turkey as one of the parties to the current military operation, Armenia is thus trying to explain to its own public apparent failure in front of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan. Furthermore, Armenia hopes for the support of Turkophobic circles through resorting to its traditional tactic of victimization.

Armenia should clearly know that Turkey, as our closest strategic partner, has expressed support for Azerbaijan. This support is based not only on the manifestation of fraternal relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Turkey supports Azerbaijan precisely because Azerbaijan is under occupation and has the right to liberate the occupied territories.

Armenia should also remember that Turkey is the founding state of the OSCE Minsk Group and is its permanent member. In this regard, neither Armenia nor any other country should be surprised by Turkey's position on the settlement of the conflict on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and OSCE documents. This is due to the fact that Turkey is an influential and respected member of the international community and is an example for all other states, especially for other members of the Minsk Group, who were given a mandate within the framework of the mentioned UN and OSCE documents.

The multifaceted cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey has been the basis for development, progress, stability and security in the South Caucasus region for almost 30 years and acts as a leitmotif for all continental and global projects and initiatives. Armenia's failure to be benefitted from that is its own choice, and therefore Armenia should blame itself, not Turkey and Azerbaijan.

It is clear and unambiguous that Azerbaijan and Turkey support cooperation in all areas, including military-technical.

As for the current military operations against the occupying Armenian army, Azerbaijan has a strong, professional and modern army, fully capable of achieving its goal of ensuring its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Therefore, there is no need for representatives of another state to participate in its ranks.

In response to Armenia’s claims that Azerbaijan is involving terrorists and mercenaries in military operations, we repeat again that these statements by the Armenian propaganda machine are absolutely groundless. The unwarranted data circulated by Armenia even before the start of military operations are aimed at creating the necessary information background in connection with the act of aggression committed by Armenia on September 27, distracting attention from the fact that this country uses the "services" of terrorists of Armenian origin from some countries of the Middle East, and are also part of a smear campaign aimed at denigrating Azerbaijan's just struggle.

Throughout the entire conflict, it was Armenia that used terrorist groups to commit crimes against the peaceful population of Azerbaijan. And today terrorists, distinguished by their special cruelty, have the status of national heroes in Armenia. They are glorified and heroized as an example for Armenians forced to participate in an aggressive war against Azerbaijan. Numerous facts about the massive and systematic deployment by Armenia of terrorist Armenian ethnic elements from the Middle East in our occupied territories have repeatedly been brought to the attention of the international community, especially the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

At present, these terrorist elements, illegally deployed in our occupied territories, are taking part in an aggressive war against Azerbaijan and its civilian population. If our appeals to the international community to expel these terrorist groups from the internationally recognized territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan do not work, the solution to this problem, which poses a serious threat to international and regional peace and security, will be possible by ending the occupation of our territories only by the armed forces of Azerbaijan.

We strongly reject the unfounded claims of the Armenian propaganda against Azerbaijan in a situation when the slanderous campaign against our country has reached the lowest possible level.  Abusing ethnic and religious themes in such an irresponsible manner, Armenia makes a hopeless attempt to impose its occupation policy on the international community with such meaningless slogans as “crusade” or “struggle for democracy”.

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