Armenia, in contravention of the UN Charter by use of force occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan and conducted notorious ethnic cleansing against million more Azerbaijanis in the seized lands.
It is worth reminding that according to the decisions of CSCE (OSCE) Ministerial Council, held in Helsinki in March 1992 CSCE (OSCE) Minsk Group was established, Armenia and Azerbaijan were recognized as the two sides of the conflict and the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the region were accepted as the interested parties.
The resolutions of the UN Security Council 822, 853, 874 and 884 adopted in 1993 constitute the fundamental basis for the political settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The UNSC resolutions condemned the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and reaffirmed respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders. In those resolutions, the Security Council also confirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is part of Azerbaijan, and demanded immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
In order to disguise its direct responsibility for military aggression against Azerbaijan, Armenia distorts and misinterprets the principle of the people’s right to self-determination and, attempts to impose the view that this principle may be applied in the form of unilateral secession for the Armenians living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
In reality, such a view has nothing in common with the principle of self-determination set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Final Act) of 1975 and other international documents. Moreover, it is abundantly clear that claims of self-determination are unsustainable when they are accompanied by egregious violations of international law, including its peremptory norms (jus cogens), such as those prohibiting the threat or use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States.
With regard to self-determination the Article VIII of the Helsinki Final Act establishes: “acting at all times in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and with the relevant norms of international law, including those relating to territorial integrity of States.” Moreover, the Helsinki Final Act expanded Article 2(4) of the UN Charter and codified the territorial integrity, the inviolability of frontiers and the non-use of force as separate principles to emphasize the norm of territorial integrity.
The inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh, are entitled to the “internal” right of self-determination within the boundaries of Azerbaijan. It envisages that Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan will live together in peace, dignity and prosperity within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
We do still hope that the new political leadership of Armenia will not repeat the mistakes of its predecessors, pursue a sober minded policy with a view of building civil and peaceful relations with the neighbouring countries. Settlement of the conflict can contribute to ensuring of sustainable peace and security in the region and establishment of comprehensive regional cooperation. First of all, the population of Armenia can benefit from such perspectives of regional cooperation. Therefore, ball is in the court of Armenian side.
I would like to reiterate that Azerbaijan stands ready to continue the substantive negotiations on the basis of existing agenda with the mediation of OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs for the soonest resolution of conflict.