Azerbaijan demands Armenia to withdraw its forces from Karabakh

Azerbaijan demands Armenia to withdraw its forces from Karabakh

Foreign Ministry holds special briefing for diplomats on situation in region

By Ruslan Rehimov

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) - Baku on Monday demanded Armenia to immediately withdraw its armed forces from the Azerbaijani territory of Karabakh, and abolish the military and administrative structure of the so-called regime in the region.

Relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.

In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered cease-fire.

Tensions between the two nations, however, continue despite ongoing talks over a long term peace agreement.

In a special briefing for diplomats on the current situation in Karabakh, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said that despite Azerbaijani efforts through international partners, Armenia and the so-called regime established on Azerbaijan's sovereign territory continue to harm the normalization process, and reject all proposals to reduce tensions.

The ministry argued that the recent holding of "presidential elections" in the region was a provocative act.

There are more than 10,000 Armenian armed forces loyal to the so-called regime in Karabakh, it said, adding that the forces have over 100 tanks and other armored vehicles, more than 200 heavy artillery weapons, including volley rocket systems, and more than 200 mortar systems.

It added that Armenian forces have violated the tripartite declaration signed on Nov. 10, 2020, and Yerevan is preparing for a new attack.

Like every country in the world, Azerbaijan has the right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity according to international law, the ministry said. It urged Armenia to stop its military activities, give up its “revengeful plans,” stop violating Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and stop supporting separatism and terrorism in the Karabakh region.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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