Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov's article dedicated tho the the Republic Day of Azerbaijan was published in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper.
The minister recalled that the Republic of Azerbaijan restored state independence almost 30 years ago, which was proclaimed on May 28, 1918. "The triumph of the nation, which regained the right to decide its fate, was overshadowed by the armed aggression of neighboring Armenia, which led to the occupation of Karabakh, the historical and cultural cradle of Azerbaijan. The aggression resulted in the death of tens of thousands of innocent people and the expulsion of more than a million Azerbaijanis," Elmar Mamedyarov stressed.
He said that Azerbaijan’s position, which the country has repeatedly confirmed in practice, is to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic within its international borders through the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions.
“This will ensure peaceful and safe coexistence of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he noted. “In conditions of peace, prosperity and cooperation, both communities will be able to jointly address issues of the current and future development of their land; that will lay a solid foundation for restoring good neighborly relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and establishing long-awaited peace and security in the region. Baku expects responsible actions from the new leadership of Armenia for the earliest possible resolution of the conflict with Azerbaijan," the minister stressed.
“President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev pointed to the expectation from the new leadership of Armenia, noting that it 'will not repeat the mistakes of the previous government, will do serious work to resolve the conflict as soon as possible and thus the real process of negotiations, and not its imitation, will start”, Mammadyarov said in the article.
He noted that having occupied not only Nagorno Karabakh, but also seven other adjacent Azerbaijani districts, Armenia disposes of the occupied territories with impunity.
“The statements of its leadership about lacking the right to speak at the negotiations with Azerbaijan on behalf of the Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh are refuted by the specific actions of Yerevan itself,” Mammadyarov added. “If you divide the Armenians of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh and refuse to represent the latter at the talks, then why do you send your conscripts to military service in Karabakh? Why is a lot of money allocated every year from the budget of Armenia to the separatist regime? Why do Armenians of Karabakh get the civil rights of the Republic of Armenia and get the country’s passports? By the way, all these questions received unequivocal answers in the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) No. 13216/05 (Case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia) dated June 16, 2015.”
“The ECHR confirmed that military support of the Republic of Armenia was and continues to be decisive in seizing territories and exercising actual control over them,” Mammadyarov said. “On the basis of evidence testifying to the political, financial and other dependence of the separatist entity on Armenia, the court concluded that 'Armenia, from the early days of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has had a significant and decisive influence over the “NKR”, that the two entities are highly integrated in virtually all important matters and that this situation persists to this day' and that 'the “NKR” and its administration survive by virtue of the military, political, financial and other support given to it by Armenia which, consequently, exercises effective control over Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding territories'."
He noted that 25 years ago, with the establishment of a ceasefire regime, Azerbaijan hoped that Armenia would take the path of implementing the decisions of international organizations to withdraw from the occupied territories.
“The ceasefire agreement was supported in the decision of the CSCE Budapest Summit dated December 6, 1994,” reads the article. “The heads of the states and governments of the countries participating in the meeting instructed the co-chairs of the Minsk Conference to immediately take steps 'to conduct speedy negotiations for the conclusion of a political agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict, the implementation of which will eliminate major consequences of the conflict for all parties and permit the convening of the Minsk Conference'.”
“Thus, the co-chairs were given instructions on phased implementation of the process of the conflict settlement, when its main consequences, which in the first place include the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and expelling of the Azerbaijani population from there, must be eliminated at the first stage, and this will allow for creating the necessary conditions for the convening of the Minsk Conference,” reads the article.
Mammadyarov noted that the attempts of the Armenian side, on the basis of the Budapest decision, to make the separatist regime of the occupied Azerbaijani territories look as the “third” party to the conflict, do not stand up to any criticism.
“It is known that the ceasefire was reached with the consent of Azerbaijan and Armenia as parties to the conflict,” Mammadyarov added in his article. “This approach clearly corresponds to the position of the Helsinki decision of the CSCE Ministerial Council dated March 24, 1992, which is the only generally accepted decision determining the status of the parties to the conflict. The same starting point is enshrined in the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs dated March 23, 1995. It establishes that in their activities, the co-chairs will be guided by the principles and norms of the OSCE, the UN Charter, OSCE decisions, including the decision of the Council of Ministers dated March 24, 1992, and especially the decision of the Budapest Summit, as well as relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.”
“It is deeply regrettable that the Armenian side persistently denies the fact of ethnic cleansing of tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis of the Nagorno Karabakh, deprived of the right to vote in determining the current life arrangements and the future of their native land,” reads the article.
“The world community is unanimous in the opinion that with the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its international borders, forcibly displaced Azerbaijanis must be given the opportunity to return to their homes.”
It is necessary for Armenia to be aware that the world community will never recognize the consequences of military aggression and occupation as legitimate, Mammadyarov said.
“Therefore, the course for maintaining the status quo in the occupied territories under the guise of a slogan about the alleged realization of the right of peoples to self-determination, has no prospects,” he noted. “By the way, in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, this principle is written as follows: 'The participating States will respect each other's sovereign equality and individuality as well as all the rights inherent in and encompassed by its sovereignty, including in particular the right of every State to juridical equality, to territorial integrity and to freedom and political independence.' This clearly shows that this principle applies only within the territorial integrity of the state.”