Azerbaijan criticizes Armenian minister’s ‘illegal’ visit to Karabakh
An Azerbaijani soldier affixes a national flag on a lamp post in the town of Lachin, Azerbaijan, Dec. 1, 2020. (AFP Photo)

Azerbaijan criticizes Armenian minister’s ‘illegal’ visit to Karabakh

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that the Armenian foreign minister’s visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh region violates the conditions of November’s trilateral agreement that put an end to the conflict between the two countries.

“The illegal visit of the Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan to the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, where he met with representatives of the puppet regime and signed the ‘documents,’ contradicts the trilateral statement of Nov. 10 and does not comply at all with the framework of peace, security and cooperation in the region after the cessation of hostilities,” said Leyla Abdullayeva, head of the Press Service Department of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Abdullayeva added that the violation of the commitments by an Armenian official is a “provocation” and such actions catering to a domestic audience do not serve the normalization of the situation in the region.

“We would like to remind that the Armenian Prime Minister signed the statement on Nov. 10 and the government has taken commitments in this regard,” the statement said.

Fresh clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late September, rekindling the Caucasus neighbors’ decadeslong conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. During the conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several towns and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation. Fierce fighting persisted for six weeks before Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Moscow-brokered peace deal on Nov. 9.

The agreement came after Baku’s military overwhelmed the separatist forces and threatened to advance on Karabakh’s main city of Stepanakert (Khankendi).

Abdullayeva noted that Armenian officials should accept the new reality that emerged in the region with the agreement.

“Ensuring the implementation of the joint statement of Nov. 10 and taking steps based on the new security format, as well as cooperation opportunities (that) emerged in the region can contribute to peaceful and secure coexistence. The opposite is nothing else but an attempt to inflame the tension,” she said.

This article originally appeared in DAILY SABAH on 05 Jan 2021.