KUALA LUMPUR: Azerbaijan ambassador to Malaysia Irfan Davudov said that biased statements by some countries and international partners, against Azerbaijan in its ongoing conflict with Armenia is unacceptable and is not helpful to de-escalate tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

He said these countries and some international organisations have turned a blind eye to the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories for almost three decades, and also for the past three years, “they have ignored the illegal presence of Armenian armed forces in the territories of Azerbaijan”.

“We would like to urge these countries and representatives of some international organisations which make biased statements to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, not to interfere in the internal affairs of our country, and to put an end to the policy of double standards,” he said in an interview with Bernama outlining some key inputs from his country’s Foreign Ministry on several ongoing issues with Armenia.

In 1992, war broke out between the two former Soviet states, resulting in the occupation of 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognised territory.

The Second Karabakh War, which erupted on Sept 27, 2020, resulted in Azerbaijan liberating most of its occupied territories. The two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement (Trilateral Declaration) on Nov 10, 2020, to end the fighting and work towards the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.

Since then, there have been some clashes and trading of accusations on both sides. After the 2020 war, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had met several times for peace talks.

In the latest development this week as reported by German news agency (dpa), Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of sending forces to its border and warned the provocation could trigger a new outbreak of heavy fighting. However, Azerbaijan has denied the accusation.

Davudov said Azerbaijan always appreciated the countries which supported the facilitation of peace talks, as they have urged Yerevan about the importance of being committed to a constructive dialogue with Azerbaijan.

“At a time when Azerbaijan was making efforts to establish lasting peace and security in the region, putting forward initiatives for the peace agreement, delimitation, as well as the opening of communications, the issuing of biased statements instead of supporting these efforts will not yield any positive results for this process,” he said.

For example, he said biased statements from the French side will not help to bring peace and stabilitiy in the region and hope Paris will put a stop to provocative statements and avoid taking a one-sided position.

Davudov pointed out that Azerbaijan will ensure the rights of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region based on the country’s Constitution.

The ambassador however said that all parties must understand that the rights of the Armenian population of the Karabakh region cannot supersede those of the Azerbaijani population, and that Azerbaijan applies the same approach toward the ethnic minorities living in its territories, and will continue to do so.

Davudov further said that Azerbaijan has installed the Lachin border checkpoint in its sovereign territories, in order to establish control over its own borders.

“The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) General Secretariat which recognises the legitimate decisions by Azerbaijan to establish border checkpoints on its territory, has welcomed proposals by Azerbaijan to use the Lachin Road for medical purposes by the Armenian residents and to use the “Aghdam-Khankendi” route for larger cargo, Davudov explained.

He said due to the continued escalation of tensions, the threat of landmines still exist in Azerbaijan territories where he claimed that 303 Azerbaijanis, including two journalists, have become landmine victims since November 2020.

He also reiterated Baku’s readiness to normalise relations on a bilateral basis with Armenia in accordance with the norms and principles of international law, in particular the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders.

In this context, Davudov said the success of the peace process is important for the overall stability of the region as well as the prosperity of Armenia and its people.

“Our large-scale reconstruction activities carried out in the liberated territories, as well as airports built near the border of the two countries, is the clear manifestation of our sincere peace efforts,” he said.-Bernama

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