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 Wednesday, June 7 2023 09:23
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Armenian Ambassador: Azerbaijan`s illegal steps to close Lachin  corridor aggravate regional situation and create ground for new  aggression

Armenian Ambassador: Azerbaijan`s illegal steps to close Lachin  corridor aggravate regional situation and create ground for new  aggression

ArmInfo. It is obvious that the complete blocking of the Lachin corridor by Azerbaijan is aimed at  the consistent implementation of its policy of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh and the realization of the policy of completely emptying Nagorno-Karabakh of Armenians. Armenian Ambassador to Iran  Arsen Avagyan stated this in an interview with Rahbord-e Moaser" in response to the question why Azerbaijan seeks to close the Lachin crossing.

Below is the full text of the interview, which is available on the  "Rahbord-e Moaser" news analysis website.  Contemporary strategy:  After the siege of Lachin Pass, tensions are on the  riseNagorno-KarabakhIt got deeper. How do you evaluate the  probability of new encounters in this field?

Avagyan: On April 23, the Republic of Azerbaijan established a  checkpoint in violation of Article 6 of the November 9, 2020  statement and officially blocked the Lachin crossing located in the  area of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping forces. This  action was taken while the Azerbaijani side had illegally blocked the  crossing since December 12, 2022, under fake environmental pretexts.   Undoubtedly, the aim of this action of the Azerbaijani side is ethnic  cleansing and the realization of the policy of completely emptying  Nagorno-Karabakh of Armenians. These actions are realized despite the  explicit declarations of the international community and especially  the judgment issued and enforceable this year by the international  court.  These illegal actions of the Republic of Azerbaijan cause  tension in the region and provide a suitable platform for widespread  use of force and violence. Also, the Azerbaijani side continues its  aggression against the territories under the official rule of the  Republic of Armenia. The proof of this claim is the artillery and  mortar attacks of the Azerbaijani military units on April 11 and 12  of this year against the Armenian positions in Sotek, Got, and Upper   Shurzhai.  The Armenian side has always declared its commitment and  adherence to the establishment of peace and security in the region,  but Yerevan's position does not meet with a proper response in Baku,  which continues its aggressive and non-constructive policies. We  believe that the purpose of these actions is to fail and not get  results from the negotiation process and increase tension in the  region.  Contemporary strategy: Not long ago, negotiations between  Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan were held with the mediation  of the United States. How do you evaluate the result? Does the  American mediation not contradict the initiatives taken by the  Islamic Republic of Iran?

Avagyan: Negotiations are conducted at several levels. In recent  days, negotiations were held in Washington and Brussels, and on May  19, a meeting was held between the foreign ministers of Armenia and  Azerbaijan. Ararat Mirzoyan and Jihun Bayramov held talks in  Washington from May 1 to 4 and met with Anthony Blinken, the  Secretary of State, and Jake Sullivan, the US Vice President and  National Security Advisor.  The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of  Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed their views on the current situation  and presented their positions in relation to the resolution of  existing issues. The two sides had progress and understanding  regarding some articles of the bilateral agreement "Establishment of  peace and relations between the two governments" and at the same time  they emphasized that there is no convergence in some positions on the  core issues.  On May 14, a tripartite meeting was held in Brussels  between Nikol Pashinyan , Charles Michel, the President of the  European Council, and Elham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, and  the issues related to the removal of the threat to regional transport  and economic infrastructure, border demarcation and maintaining  border security were held in Brussels. The two countries, the  agreement to establish relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the  need to pay attention to the rights and security of the people of  Nagorno-Karabakh , as well as the issue of prisoners, missing  artifacts and other humanitarian issues were discussed.  It is  necessary to emphasize this issue, the Armenian side is fundamentally  against the conflict of interests of different forces and the  creation of tension and clashes in the region. In addition, in our  opinion, the joint efforts of colleagues are interested in  establishing peace and security in the South Caucasus, which will  eventually lead to solving problems and resolving existing conflicts.   In this context, the Republic of Armenia attaches great importance to  declaring the clear position of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the  highest possible level regarding the sovereignty and territorial  integrity of the Republic of Armenia .  Contemporary strategy: For  some time now, in some media, there have been articles about the  dissatisfaction of the Republic of Armenia with the Russian  peacekeeping forces. What is your position in this field?

Avagyan: The Republic of Armenia has officially announced its  concerns in this regard, and the tripartite statement of November 9,  2020 has also clearly defined the scope of responsibilities of the  Russian peacekeeping forces.  Despite this, since the signing of the  statement, we have seen cases of violations in this field, the most  obvious example of which is the illegal blocking of Lachin crossing.  First, under the fake name of "Environmental Activists" and then  since April 23, this process has been continued by the armed forces  of Azerbaijan.  As stated, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia  has asked Russia in this regard to fulfill its duties by removing the  illegal blockade of the crossing and withdrawing the Azeri forces  from the security strip of the Lachin crossing.  The Ministry of  Foreign Affairs of Armenia has also asked the member states of the  United Nations with the Charter of International Security to clearly  react to the measures that undermine regional security by Azerbaijan  and in line with the unequivocal implementation of the Supreme  International Assembly's decision. do an action Contemporary  strategy: How is the process of negotiations between Armenia and  Turkey followed?

Avagyan: The current process of normalizing relations between Turkey  and Armenia started at the end of 2021. With the aim of normalizing  the relations between the two countries, the special representatives  of Armenia and Turkey have met four times, and high-level contacts  have been made  between the leaders of Armenia and Turkey, the  ministers of foreign affairs and the presidents of the national  assemblies of the two countries.  In the shadow of the normalization  of relations between Armenia and Turkey, direct flights between the  two countries have been resumed, and the previous problems in the way  of air cargo transportation have been resolved.  In addition,  agreements have been made to open the land border to citizens of  third countries and persons with political passports. Unfortunately,  Ankara has taken a step back and prevented Armenian Airlines planes  from passing through Turkish airspace. In any case, the Armenian side  is very hopeful that the existing problems will be resolved quickly  and that all agreements reached will be realized.  Armenia, with a  very high understanding of the fear and terror resulting from natural  disasters and remembering the destructive earthquake of 1988 in the  city of Spitak, did not take a passive position regarding the  February 6th earthquake in the southeast of Turkey.  Following the  phone conversation between the Armenian Prime Minister and Turkish  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February 7, the members of the  Armenian Intelligence and Rescue Team were dispatched to the  earthquake-hit area and played their role in eliminating the  consequences of the earthquake well by saving human lives.  In those  days, the Armenia -Turkey land border was opened after decades of  blockade, by which Armenia sent shipments of humanitarian aid to  Turkey on two occasions. On February 15th of this year, the foreign  ministers of Armenia and Turkey reached an agreement in Ankara in  order to use a joint effort to rebuild the Ani bridge located on the   border of Armenia and Turkey.  Contemporary strategy: The Armenian  side has protested many times about the destruction of Armenian  cultural heritage by the Republic of Azerbaijan . Historical and  religious works of Armenians in Trkiye are also not in a good  condition. Considering that the Islamic Republic of Iran has not  spared any efforts to protect Armenian historical monuments, how do  you evaluate the attitude of the three countries regarding this  issue?

Avagyan: When it comes to the Armenian cultural heritage, it is  impossible not to appreciate the compassionate attitude of the  Iranian government towards the Armenian historical heritage. Dozens  of churches and other famous buildings have been restored  with the  assistance of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran .  The  leadership of the Republic of Armenia and all Armenians are grateful  and support the friendly nation of Iran. Iran's compassion towards  Armenian culture is a witness and document of civilizational  relations and thousands of years of historical dependence of two  governments and governments. Also, the document of this claim is the  reconstruction of the Gohar Agha Mosque in the city of Shushi with  the assistance of the Iranian side before the 44-day war.  Despite  this, Azerbaijan's policy of brutalizing Armenian historical  monuments is quite clear and, unfortunately, it is not a new issue.  In the not-so-distant past, the rulers of Azerbaijan, with extreme  measures, destroyed the medieval Jolfa hermitage on the banks of the  Aras River in Nakhchivan. Until the 20th century, there were hundreds  of Armenian monuments and historical buildings in Nakhchivan, but  today all of them have been destroyed.  Azerbaijan continues its  criminal policy in Nagorno-Karabakh. Everything that is possible is  destroyed, but when it comes to famous works whose destruction will  probably have a wide reflection, Azerbaijan hides its Armenian  identity and attributes it to "Albanian architecture" born of its own  thinking.  The arrogance of the Azerbaijani side in this action has  reached such an extent that the President of Azerbaijan orders the  removal of Armenian writings from the walls of the church in front of  the cameras. It is worth mentioning that Azerbaijan has not allowed  UNESCO to enter Nagorno-Karabakh.  The Azerbaijani side constantly,  especially in organizations where Armenia is not present, tries to  make the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict look religious and introduce  Armenia as an enemy of Islam and abuses the sensitive ideology of  Islamic unity and solidarity, and fake documents about the  destruction of a number of mosques in Nagorno-Karabakh by the party   Armenia offers.  Parallel to the policy of destruction and  destruction of Armenian cultural heritage, Azerbaijan is trying to  apply the same policy to Iran. Especially that last year and in the  framework of the "Supreme Session of the European Parliament",  Azerbaijani representatives present in Yerevan called the Blue Mosque  of Yerevan an Azerbaijani mosque by spreading false announcements,  and also at the highest government level in Baku, continuous efforts  are being made to introduce famous Iranian writers as poets.  Azerbaijanis have done and continue to do.

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