Armenia's rejection of shipment plan stalling peace efforts in Karabakh, says Azerbaijani official

Armenia's rejection of shipment plan stalling peace efforts in Karabakh, says Azerbaijani official

Azerbaijan has imposed restrictions on Lachin corridor which Armenians living in Karabakh use for travel to and from Armenia, citing smuggling, terrorism

By Ruslan Rehimov

BAKU (AA) - A senior Azerbaijani official has expressed concern over the rejection by the self-proclaimed Armenian leaders in Karabakh of Baku's proposed path for shipments.

Ali Huseynli, chairman of the Azerbaijani National Assembly Law Commission, said this refusal presents “a significant risk to achieving a peaceful resolution of disputes between Azerbaijan and Armenia and hampers the efforts to establish lasting peace in the region.”

Huseynli told Anadolu that Armenia was trying to carry cargo to Karabakh using the Lachin-Khankendi road under the guise of "humanitarian aid."

He stressed that the Lachin corridor lies in Azerbaijan's territory and so Baku proposed using the Aghdam-Khankendi road for shipments.

"The so-called leaders of the separatist regime in Karabakh oppose shipments through the Aghdam-Khankendi road because accepting it would mean recognizing Azerbaijan's territorial integrity,” he said.

Azerbaijan has been imposing restrictions on the Lachin-Khankendi road, which the Armenians living in Karabakh use for travel to and from Armenia, citing the firing of shots from Armenia at border guards and smuggling activities using International Red Cross vehicles.

Heavy vehicles are not allowed to pass on the route, which is open to civilians.

Armenia sent 19 trucks to the border, claiming that the Armenian population in Karabakh is facing a "humanitarian crisis" due to the road closure, but these trucks have been waiting at the border for about a week.

Baku stated that it will not allow shipments that were not previously discussed with them to their sovereign territories, suggesting the Aghdam- Khankendi road for shipments to the Armenian population in Karabakh.

He further said that Azerbaijan regards the Armenians residing in Karabakh as its own citizens.

“Unfortunately, the coup regime in Khankendi, which is holding its people hostage, also rejects Azerbaijan's integration proposals. All of this poses a serious threat to the peaceful resolution of disputes between Azerbaijan and Armenia and, most importantly, the establishment of sustainable peace in the region,” he added.

Huseynli said that accusing Azerbaijan of causing a "humanitarian crisis" in areas where the Armenian population lives in Karabakh is another manifestation of the double standards in the international arena, referring to the critical statements made by some officials from the US and Europe.

"The developments should be considered as a continuation of Armenia's provocations. The leadership in Yerevan is trying to confuse the international community by spreading misinformation, albeit temporarily,” Huseynli said.

*Writing by Esra Tekin in Istanbul​​​​​​​

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