Aliyev admits to keeping 120,000 Artsakh Armenians under siege and purposefully causing a humanitarian disaster – Armenia MFA

With the latest statements Azerbaijan’s President admits that Azerbaijan has been keeping 120,000 Artsakh Armenians under siege for more than a month and purposefully causing a humanitarian disaster, Spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vahan Hunanyan said in comments to Armenpress.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated in an interview to the Azerbaijani media earlier this week that all those who do not want to live in Nagorno Karabakh as citizens of Azerbaijan can leave, because the way for them to leave is open.

“With this statement, the President of Azerbaijan inadvertently admits that Azerbaijan, in gross violations of its international obligations stipulated by the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, has been keeping 120,000 Artsakh Armenians under siege for more than a month and purposefully bringing Nagorno-Karabakh to a humanitarian disaster. Azerbaijan admits that the ultimate goal of its actions is to subject Nagorno Karabakh to ethnic cleansing, to deprive the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh of the opportunity to live in their own homeland,” Hunanyan said.

He called on international partners to oblige Azerbaijan to stop the blockade of the Lachin Corridor and to save the Artsakh Armenians from the imminent disaster through clear actions. “The people of Nagorno-Karabakh must not be deprived of their natural right to have a homeland and to live in their homeland,” he said.

Speaking about the so-called “Zangezur Corridor,” the President of Azerbaijan admitted that there is no such term in the trilateral statement of November 9. At the same time, he threatened that “there will be a corridor, regardless of whether Armenia wants it or not.”

“Armenia has repeatedly stated that it is interested in the opening of all transport and economic infrastructures in the region in line with the November 9 statement. We are ready to implement this within the framework of the national legislation in the shortest period of time, within the framework of the agreements reached on the preservation of the sovereignty of the countries and the jurisdiction over the roads. At the same time, Armenia will never agree to the provision of an extraterritorial corridor,” the Spokesperson responded.

“It is welcome that the leadership of Azerbaijan finally frankly states that the claims made about the so-called corridor have nothing to do with the trilateral statement of November 9. In the statement there is only one mention about a corridor, and that is the Lachin Corridor, which has been illegally blocked by Azerbaijan for more than a month,” he said.

“And the threats to open a corridor by force once again clearly demonstrate the violation of the key international principle of non-use of force or the threat of force by Azerbaijan, as well as the absolute contempt of official Baku for the agreements reached with the participation of international mediators,” Hunanyan added.

He stressed that the actions, belligerent rhetoric and maximalist approaches of the Azerbaijani leadership seriously endanger the possibility of achieving peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

In the interview, Ilham Aliyev also referred to the EU observation mission, expressing his displeasure with the possibility of deploying a new observation mission in Armenia.

“Armenia highly values the role of the EU mission, which ended on December 19, 2022, in strengthening stability and security in the region and preventing new aggression against Armenia. We have also expressed our willingness to continue the mutually beneficial cooperation with the EU in the context of the implementation of the Union’s new observation mission in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia,” the Spokesman said.

“The displeasure of the President of Azerbaijan is incomprehensible to us. After all, let’s repeat, we are talking about the possibility of carrying out the mission in the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. Apparently, the Azerbaijani side is afraid that the new EU mission will become an obstacle for launching a new aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia, the risk of which remains very high,” he added.

Asked whether the negotiations can be considered completed, Hunanyan said: “Absolutely not, in December 2022 we presented our proposals for the normalization of relations with Azerbaijan or, as it is customary to say, the draft peace treaty to the Azerbaijani side, and now we are waiting for their response.”

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