Baku says Armenia intends to continue ‘illegal activities’ on territory of Azerbaijan

Baku says Armenia intends to continue ‘illegal activities’ on territory of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan says Armenia's rejection of Aghdam-Khankendi road proves groundless claim of 'tense humanitarian situation' in region

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Baku said on Thursday that Armenia intends to continue “illegal activities” on its territory, referring to Yerevan’s rejection of the Aghdam-Khankendi into the Karabakh region as proposed by Azerbaijan.

“The fact that Armenia … rejects this road (Aghdam-Khankendi) by any means possible proves that the claim of a ‘tense humanitarian situation’ in the region is groundless and that Armenia intends to continue illegal activities on the territory of Azerbaijan,” said a statement by the country’s Foreign Ministry.

The statement came in response to comments made by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan during a government meeting earlier in the day.

It said Yerevan’s repeated claims on the Lachin road over the past eight months show the country’s intention to “use issue for its political purposes and to obstruct the peace treaty negotiations that have been progressing recently.”

It further said Armenia’s claim that Azerbaijan is taking steps to carry out "ethnic cleansing" in the Karabakh region is “quite wrong and dangerous”.

The statement defined Pashinyan's conditions on the form of dialogue between Baku and Armenian residents in Karabakh as "unacceptable" and a direct challenge to Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It also said Armenia is clearly trying to make the process of border delimitation between the two countries fail, given that Yerevan “does not fulfill its obligation to withdraw the Armenian armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan, continues to provide financial support to the territory, and emphasizes its territorial claims in various letters, statements, and speeches.”

“Azerbaijan, as the initiator of the peace process with Armenia in the aforementioned areas, is interested in establishing peace, stability, and security in the region and is an active party in the negotiation process. If Armenia is interested in peace, it should stop efforts that hinder the peace process,” it concluded.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-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 peace agreement.

Despite the ongoing talks on a peace agreement, tensions between the neighboring countries increased in recent months over the Lachin corridor, the only land route giving Armenia access to Karabakh.

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