No:216/19, Press statement of the MFA of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Statement made by the senior official of Armenia on the construction of a new road called as the “southern direction” along the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is yet another example of the genuine intention of Armenia, to consolidate the status-quo based on military occupation, undermine the settlement of the conflict via negotiations and annex the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s illegal activities in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, including the infrastructural changes, demonstrate that the allegations of Armenia on the settlement of the conflict by peaceful means are nothing other than hypocrisy and misleading of international community.
The experience of “Vardenis-Agdere” road referred to as the “northern direction”, as well as the central “Gorus-Lachin” road show that the new road planned to be constructed through Gubadli and Jabrayil districts would serve to plundering the natural and other resources of the occupied territories even more aggressively.
In general, along with the infrastructural changes in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Armenia carries out other illegal activities such as the destruction of cultural heritage, changing the demographic composition, pillaging of mineral recourses and etc.
The reports prepared as a result of the fact-finding and field assessment missions conducted by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan indicate that the illegal activities constitute a serious threat to the peace process.
The report on “The Illegal Activities in the Territories of Azerbaijan under Armenia’s occupation: Evidence from Satellite Imagery” of 2018 clearly demonstrate the wide scale of Armenian illegal actions.
International humanitarian law, particularly the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols, prohibit any illegal activities in the occupied territories.
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office should seriously consider the illegal activities carried out in our occupied territories and seriously affecting the negotiation process.
Despite the favorable conditions for the settlement of the conflict, continuing the illegal activities by hiding behind the cease-fire regime is the next provocative attempt of Armenia to undermine the negotiation process. Therefore, all the responsibility rest with the political and military leadership of Armenia.
We strongly condemn the provocative actions of Armenia, which continues to commit illegal acts in the occupied territories blatantly violating the international obligations and demand the aggressor to put an end to its actions that undermine peace, security, and stability in our region and withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan retains its right to respond appropriately to such provocations of an aggressor state.