UN Security Council addresses concerns despite attempts by Armenia to exploit platform for purpose of "manipulation" against Baku, says Azerbaijani foreign ministry.
Discussions in the UN Security Council regarding the Lachin Corridor provided another platform for Azerbaijan to raise its “legitimate concerns” over the key road link to the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, the country’s Foreign Ministry said.
Noting that Azerbaijan’s representative during the session rejected all claims by Armenia on the closure of the Lachin Corridor and the imposing of a blockade on Armenian residents and resulting in a “humanitarian catastrophe” as false, the statement underscored that neither Azerbaijan nor the protesting activists in the area have blocked the corridor.
The two countries have fought several wars over Nagorno-Karabakh - internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but home to about 120,000 ethnic Armenians - since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. As recently as September, more than 200 soldiers were killed in a flare-up of fighting.
“Despite the obvious attempts of Armenia to exploit this institution for the purpose of a manipulation campaign against Azerbaijan, the discussions at the UN Security Council provided yet another platform for Azerbaijan to raise its legitimate concerns, including deliberate, continuous and uncorrected violations by Armenia of its commitments undertaken within the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020, and to inform the wider international community in this regard,” the ministry said in the statement.
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“Call on the international community”
The statement also noted that claims concerning alleged humanitarian consequences were falsified, adding that convoys belonging to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have passed through the corridor “without any impediment” over the past few days.
The statement further said that the Azerbaijani representative reiterated that NGO representatives started demonstrations in the Lachin Corridor after being “forcefully obstructed by apparently pre-organised and orchestrated actions of a group of persons”.
It said the Lachin Corridor was being abused for “illegal military and other activities, including for illegal trafficking of national resources of Azerbaijan”.
It rejected official statements that it said “interfered with its internal affairs” and called for states to “honour their obligations under the UN Charter and international law and refrain from any statements directed against Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.”
“We reiterate our call on the international community to persuade Armenia to reciprocate the offer of Azerbaijan, cease its political and military provocations, abandon its aggressive rhetoric and actions, and engage in good faith in direct negotiations to find a peaceful diplomatic solution to all issues about inter-state relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” it concluded.
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Since December 12, Azerbaijani ecologists representing NGOs have been protesting Armenia’s illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Karabakh region, where Russian peacekeepers have been stationed since the aftermath of the fall 2020 conflict in the region.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Karabakh, a territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, in 44 days of clashes, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages and settlements from Armenian occupation. The Russian-brokered peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.