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Azerbaijani President Slams International Organizations For Ineffective Approach To Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

By Mushvig Mehdiyev October 31, 2020

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Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces, President Ilham Aliyev salutes personnel of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry as he walks toward the Central Command Post with Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov following him, Baku, Azerbaijan, October 25, 2020 / President.Az

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev called out international organizations for their failure to hold Yerevan accountable and reach a lasting solution to his country's decades-long conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan but occupied by Armenia.

During a meeting with Azerbaijan's Central Command Post of the Defense Ministry last Sunday, President Aliyev accused the international organizations for not responding after Armenia failed to comply with several UN Security Council resolutions, which call for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from Azerbaijani lands and the return of internally-displaced Azerbaijanis to their native lands.

"A few days ago, the co-chairs held a meeting of the UN Security Council. A document was put forward at the meeting that did not meet our interests and was intended to draw a line through the resolutions adopted in 1993. We strongly objected to this. This is another manifestation of injustice, another manifestation of double standards," Azertag.Az quoted President Aliyev as saying during the meeting.

"The resolutions adopted in 1993 express a clear position on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Resolutions adopted in 1993 demand complete, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories. The draft document initiated the other day did not contain these provisions. In short, this step is viewed as yet another provocation against Azerbaijan," President Aliyev added. "This political step failed and no document was adopted. I think this is another political victory for us."

The UN Security Council convened on October 18 in a closed-door meeting at the request of the US, Russia, and France to discuss the current situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The four resolutions adopted in 1993 have not been included in the discussions agenda. Earlier on September 28, the council called on both countries to end hostilities and return to political talks through a close work with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who mediate negotiations between the sides.

President Aliyev said the ceasefire is not sustainable considering Armenia's violations of two humanitarian truces brokered by Russia in October. President Aliyev said Armenia's forces have breached both armistices immediately by targeting civilians in Azerbaijan, including in the country's second-largest city of Ganja, where 23 civilians were killed with missile fire.

"The ceasefire cannot be unconditional. They will deceive us for another 27 years, for another 30 years. Delegations will be coming here for another 30 years and negotiations will be held. We are fed up and the patience of the Azerbaijani people is exhausted," he said criticizing the Minsk Group for its inaction on the matter.

"Twenty-eight years ago, the Minsk Group was established. They have been deceiving us for 28 years. For 28 years, they have been promising to us, asking us to wait, saying that they will put pressure on Armenia, that they will do this and that. It was all a lie. Everyone sees it now."

President Aliyev said Azerbaijan demands withdrawal of Armenia's occupying forces from the Azerbaijani lands.

"We have one condition: the countries that are so concerned about Armenia, patronize them and create conditions for the Armenians to occupy our lands for about 30 years should put pressure on Armenia. The Armenian prime minister must declare that Armenia will withdraw from the occupied territories," President Aliyev said. "We have not heard such statements. On the contrary, he talks of the self-determination of peoples and, in fact, has disrupted the process of negotiations."

Armenia refuses to comply with the Madrid Principles, a compilation of fundamental guidelines for achieving a political end to the conflict, and the four UN Security Council resolutions. Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan insists on the recognition of the right of the Nagorno-Karabakh's Armenian community to self-determination and the sovereignty of the illegal separatist regime in occupied Azerbaijani lands. Baku turns down such calls as a contradiction to the international law.

The government of Azerbaijan dismissed a referendum for self-determination of Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Baku said it could give a cultural autonomy to Armenians similar to the autonomies in Europe, but will never allow the creation of a second Armenian state in Azerbaijani soils through the self-determination.

"It [self-determination] should not violate the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. There are different types of self-determination. There are different types of communities. And they could be cultural autonomy for instance. We see these examples in developed countries of Europe," President Aliyev said during an interview with Japan’s Nikkei newspaper on October 21.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a decades-old conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan but occupied by Armenia. Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Armenia launched a military campaign against Azerbaijan that lasted until a ceasefire deal was reached in 1994. Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Over 30,000 ethnic Azerbaijanis were killed and one million were expelled from those lands in a brutal ethnic cleansing policy conducted by Armenia.

The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan sparked on September 27 after heavy shelling of Azerbaijani military and civilian positions by Armenia's armed forces deployed in the occupied Azerbaijani lands. Since the start of hostilities to date, the Azerbaijani army has liberated the occupied cities of Jabrayil. Fuzuli, Zangilan and Gubadli, as well as dozens of villages, settlements and strategic heights in the districts of Tartar, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Khojavend, Zangilan, Gubadli and Kalbajar.