Politics 17:40 29/07/2021 Armenia

Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border not stabilizing, Pashinyan says

The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is not stabilizing despite the efforts exercised by the Armenian government and the international community, Armenia’s Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

An agreement restoring the ceasefire at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border was reached at the mediation of the command of Russian peacekeeping forces on Wednesday, hours after the Azerbaijani forces provoked clashes by attacking the Armenian positions at the Gegharkunik border section, killing three Armenian soldiers and wounding four others.

However, the Azerbaijani military again violated the ceasefire early on Thursday, opening fire at the Armenian positions, as a result of which another Armenian soldier was injured.

"Azerbaijan continues to use aggressive rhetoric and carry out aggressive actions, leaving unanswered all the proposals of the international community for a long-term political settlement of the situation,” the caretaker PM said.

Pashinyan recalled the statement issued by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on April 13, in which they called for a high-level political dialogue to be resumed under the auspices of the co-chairs. He underlined that Azerbaijan has so far failed to respond to this appeal, while Armenia has repeatedly declared its readiness to resume negotiations at any time in the proposed format.

“We have also voiced our readiness to engage in a dialogue on issues beyond the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan is trying to undermine any opportunity for dialogue by discrediting with its inflammatory rhetoric and actions the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020, and January 11, 2021. In particular, despite the 8th clause of the trilateral statement of November 9, Azerbaijan keeps holding fictitious trials on Armenian prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees and sentencing them to many years of imprisonment.

“Special attention should be paid to the fact that almost all convicts were captured after November 9 in the area falling under the peacekeepers’ responsibility. If we compare this with the large-scale counter-propaganda against the peacekeepers underway in Azerbaijan, as well as with the fact that Azerbaijan has not yet signed the mandate of the peacekeepers, it becomes obvious that this series of actions is targeting the peacekeepers, that is, it goes against stability and peace in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.

In Pashinyan’s words, Azerbaijan also takes consecutive steps to discredit the idea of unblocking regional communications. Despite the fact that either the 9th clause of the statement issued on November 9, 2020, or the statement of January 11, 2021 makes no mention of a corridor and no specific routes are indicated therein, Azerbaijan continues to raise the issue of a corridor, pointing to specific routes and destinations, he said.

“I have repeatedly stated that Armenia has never discussed and will not discuss anything under the logic of a corridor, and with the above-mentioned formulations Azerbaijan is trying to hinder the opening of regional communications. This is not only an important concern for us, but also one of our government’s priorities.

“We definitely consider that all transport and economic communications should be reopened in the region. Armenia should get transit routes through Azerbaijan to Russia, Central Asia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in the meantime, Azerbaijan will have transport communication with Nakhichevan, Georgia, Iran through Armenia. To implement this program, customs checkpoints will have to be set up at the relevant border points, which should be crossed on both sides in accordance with the internationally accepted procedures of border and customs control, such as those adopted within the CIS,” Pashinyan said.

Source Panorama.am
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