Any attempts by Azerbaijan to change the status of Artsakh’s occupied territories invalid – MFA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh has sent a Memorandum to international organizations on the occasion of the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to the occupied territories of the Republic of  Artsakh.

The document, in particular, notes that after the end of the 44-day war imposed on Artsakh by Azerbaijan with the support of Turkey and mercenaries from various terrorist groups, the Azerbaijani authorities have set a course to impose a fait accompli created through the use of military force in blatant violation of norms of international law.

According to the document, among the instruments for implementing this policy are the visits of the President of Azerbaijan to the seized territories, the most striking of which is Aliyev’s visit to the city of Shushi, where he made a number of statements replete with outrageous threats and militant rhetoric containing outright hatred towards the Armenian people.

The Memorandum also states that the provocative and inflammatory nature of the visits and the accompanying statements evidence Azerbaijan’s intent to disrupt the resumption of the negotiation process on a comprehensive settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict and to keep the conflict unsettled. Such destructive and defiant behavior of Azerbaijan should be strictly condemned by the international community, the Memorandum reads.

The document underlines that the people of Artsakh exercised their right to self-determination and established statehood in those territories. As noted in the document, the failure to respect this fundamental right is not only a violation of human rights, but also one of the core sources of serious threats to security in the region.

The Memorandum notes that any legislative and administrative actions of Azerbaijan to change the status of the territories of the Republic of Artsakh, including the expropriation of land and properties, the transfer of populations to the occupied territories and the incorporation of the occupied territories, are invalid under international law and cannot change their status. No territorial gains resulting from the threat or use of force should be recognized as legal.

The document notes that the current military occupation by Azerbaijan of the territories of the Republic of Artsakh, including the city of Shushi, also cannot change their status. The city of Shushi is an integral part of the Artsakh Republic in a number of aspects, including territorially, culturally, economically and historically. Any attempt to seize it is a gross violation of the territorial integrity of Artsakh.

The Memorandum underlines that only a just settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict—one that will eliminate its root cause associated with Azerbaijan’s unwillingness to recognize the rights of the people of Artsakh—will reverse the consequences of the illegal use of military force by Azerbaijan and re-institute the primacy of the principle of peaceful resolution of disputes.

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