Statement by H.E. Mr. Jeyhun Bayramov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the 130th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 4 November 2020

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleagues,

I would like to start by congratulating the Government of Greece for the successful completion of its Presidency of the Committee of Ministers and extend all our support to the incoming German Presidency.                       

In January 2021, Azerbaijan will celebrate 20th anniversary of its accession to the Council of Europe. During past years, the membership to the Organisation has contributed to strengthening the respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in my country and we are ready to continue this important work.

While joining the Council of Europe, Azerbaijan and Armenia undertook a joint commitment on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which resulted in illegal occupation of about 20 percent of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan and forced displacement of around one million Azerbaijani citizens. Over the last 28 years, the mediation efforts under the OSCE Minsk Group did not yield any tangible result, due to the policy of aggression and occupation of successive governments in Armenia. I should remind that in its 2015 judgment in the case «Chiragov and others against Armenia», the European Court of Human Rights recognized the effective control of Armenia over the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Even after this judgment, Armenia continued to reject its responsibility, without facing any consequences.

Following a series of highly provocative actions, including the statement “Karabakh is Armenia”, as well as the declaration of the doctrine “new war for new territories”, Armenia’s political-military leadership launched a new military aggression against Azerbaijan on 27 September. Since the first day of hostilities, Armenia has been heavily shelling the densely populated areas deep inside Azerbaijan, causing 91 deaths, including 11 children and more than 400 wounded among civilians. I have to stress particularly 2 ballistic missile attacks on the second largest city of Azerbaijan - Ganja at nighttime and 2 other inhuman and treacherous attacks on another city – Barda killing many civilians. These actions of Armenia, which clearly represent a war crime, should be firmly condemned by the international community, including the Council of Europe.

Counteracting against the Armenian aggression within its right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, Azerbaijan remains committed to its obligations under the international humanitarian law. Azerbaijan simply seeks the implementation of the 4 UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 1993 which demand the immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The resolutions 1416 (2005) and 1614 (2008) adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe urged the parties to comply with these UN Security Council Resolutions and call for the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

This is the shortest path to the peaceful coexistence of Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, as well as lasting peace between the two member states of the Council of Europe and prosperity in the wider region.

Thank you for your attention.

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