Comments by Hikmat Hajiyev, MFA Spokesperson on the 2nd statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs

The 2nd statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs delivered at the OSCE Permanent Council on the incident in Alkhanli village of Fizuli region on July 4, is one of the statements by the Co-Chairs where it directly indicates by whom the provocations were committed, and who defies the Geneva conventions and undermines the negotiation process.

The serious incident perpetrated by Armenia on July 4 in Alkhanli village of Fizuli region was considered as a provocative action in the latest statement of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

We share this assessment of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and reiterate that the killing of a toddler girl and her grandmother and seriously injuring another woman at the result of the targeted attack of the Alkhanli village by armed forces of Armenia with the mortars and automatic grenade launchers was aimed at undermining of the negotiation process and the co-chairs' peace efforts.

The conducted investigations on the spot and presented evidences have fully proved that the armed forces of Armenia have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian objects in Alkhanli village. Armenia is engaged in fabricated propaganda about the presence of fire points in the village to evade the responsibilities for the killing of civilians in Alkhanli village. There were no fire points or any other military installations in the village. The military attaches of the United States, People's Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Turkey, Czech Republic, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Georgia and Ukraine, a diplomat of the Embassy of Germany accredited in Azerbaijan and international media representatives witnessed that fact on the spot in the framework of the visit to Alkhanly village on July 6, 2017.

As a result of the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, bloody ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijani civilians in the occupied territories, numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against civilians and military personnel, the Khojaly genocide, including attack by heavy artillery on over 32 Azerbaijani settlements along the contact line in April 2016, and recent incident committed in Alkhanli village prove systematic violations of the commitments undertaken by Armenia within the Geneva Conventions. In this regard, we welcome the co-chairs' calls for adherence of the obligations under Geneva Conventions and the refrain of violent actions leading to civilian casualties.

Regarding the call for observance 1994-1995 ceasefire agreement, it should be noted that for more than 25 years by misusing the ceasefire regime Armenia has been attempting to strengthen the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and to maintain an unacceptable status quo. As it was mentioned in the 1994 OSCE Budapest document, including the cease-fire documents, the cease-fire should create conditions for a political solution to the conflict. Unfortunately, it has not been realized as results of provocations and pretexts pursued by Armenia. It is worth to note that one of the important components of the ceasefire documents of 1994-1995 is the timetable for the withdrawal of Armenia’s troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the return of Azerbaijani IDPs to their native lands.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that the presence of Armenia’s troops in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is the main reason for the tension and remains the prime obstacle to a negotiation process.

In order to achieve progress in resolving the conflict and to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region, Armenia’s troops should be withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with the norms and principles of international law and the UN Security Council resolutions.

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