By Hikmat Hajiyev
The Armenian armed forces flagrantly violated the ceasefire agreement and used artillery to fire on the positions of Azerbaijan’s armed forces in the direction of Tovuz district, along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s armed forces returned fire and took counteroffensive measures, preventing the Armenian armed forces from advancing.
Azerbaijan’s armed forces remain in control of the operational situation. The Armenian side has failed to make any territorial gains.
The attack by Armenia, with the use of artillery, against the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan, along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, constitutes aggression, an act of the use of force, and another provocation.
The troops of the State Border Service have been deployed along an extensive part of the border in Gazakh and Tovuz districts from Azerbaijan’s side, to prevent provocations and reduce incidents that can lead to tensions on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia, on the contrary, has continued to militarize the border between two countries, while deliberately and systematically targeting civilians.
Such military recklessness on the part of Armenia pursues an objective of drawing the military-political organizations to which it is a party to into the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, and evades the responsibility of occupation and aggression against Azerbaijan. Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, which has lasted for nearly 30 years, and provocations perpetrated along the border also contravene the legal documents of the military-political organizations of which Armenia is a member.
In the meantime, by doing so, Armenia’s leadership aims to escalate the situation, against the backdrop of socio-economic problems that have deteriorated further due to the spread of COVID-19 in Armenia, caused by its incompetent performance, and to distract attention from the country’s domestic problems.
In a blatant violation of the U.N. Charter and other legal international obligations, Armenia has carried out military aggression against Azerbaijan and occupied Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The U.N. Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 demand full and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The provocation by Armenia, perpetrated along the border, is yet further evidence that the government there is uninterested in a negotiated settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Armenia launched this offensive and provocation when the international community was fighting COVID-19. That and continued violations of the ceasefire proves that Armenia’s support of the initiative by the U.N. Secretary-General on a global ceasefire due to COVID-19 is nothing but hypocrisy.
We call on the international community to condemn strongly Armenia’s policy of occupation against Azerbaijan and its provocative actions along the border.
Armenia’s leadership bears full and sole responsibility for the situation.
Hikmat Hajiyev is assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and head of the Foreign Policy Issues Department.