Azerbaijan urges countries fooled by 'Armenia’s manipulation’ to respect its sovereignty

Azerbaijan urges countries fooled by 'Armenia’s manipulation’ to respect its sovereignty

Baku accuses Armenia of ‘political blackmail and manipulation’ amid tension over Karabakh, says Foreign Ministry

By Ruslan Rahimov

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AA) - Azerbaijan is calling on countries and international organizations that have made anti-Azerbaijani statements to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, especially concerning developments in Karabakh and the Lachin road.

“We demand that countries and international organizations that are deceived by Armenia’s manipulations and which make biased statements (instead) respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, not interfere in the internal affairs of our country, and to put an end to the policy of double standards,” Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The ministry said Azerbaijan has made proposals to meet the needs of Armenians in the region but the Armenian side has “opposed” these efforts and blocked “access to the territory by placing concrete barriers on alternative roads.”

“Armenian claims about the humanitarian situation are nothing than political blackmail and manipulation,” the Ministry said.

“The aim of Armenia is to bring third parties to the region, expand the geography of tensions, as well as to lead the peace process to a failure point,” it added.

“Azerbaijan will ensure the rights of Armenian residents living in its Karabagh region based on the country’s Constitution, and will resolutely prevent any step against its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry said.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, now known as Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

In 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and over 300 settlements and villages that were occupied by Armenia, and the fighting ended with a deal brokered by Russia.

Despite ongoing talks on a peace agreement, tensions between the neighboring countries rose in recent months concerning the Lachin road, a land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh, as well as Azerbaijan’s establishment of a border checkpoint on the road.

*Alperen Aktas contributed to the story from Istanbul

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