No 176/21, Head of the Press Service Department of the MFA of the Republic of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva responds to media queries

Question: How would you comment on the statement of the official spokesperson of the MFA of India on the recent developments along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border?

Answer: Let me first underline that the key reason of the border issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan is Armenia’s illegal occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories till November 2020. Hence, it is Armenia that violated Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders. And now Azerbaijan is just restoring its internationally recognized borders. As it has been officially stated Azerbaijan continues its work on the border protection system within the territorial integrity of the country and this process is carried out on the basis of maps available to each of the sides that define the borderline between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Several disagreements occurred between the sides on border issues earlier, and all of them were settled via negotiations among the sides to the trilateral statements.

Second, it is quite strange that in past 30 years the MFA of India has not made an appeal for the withdrawal of the occupying forces of Armenia from the Azerbaijani territories, and is now speaking about pulling back forces. Apparently, this latest statement was made without a proper thorough examination of various dimensions of this issue.

I would like to remind that Azerbaijan has always been calling for, and continues to call for, the full respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states. We believe that mutual respect for and strict adherence to these principles is the only way to settle any dispute and build truly good neighborly relations.

I must also stress that Azerbaijan as a current chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, has made the promotion of the Bandung Principles one of the priorities of its chairmanship. These principles have contributed to the promotion of justice and equality in international relations and ensured respect for the norms and principles of international law. Any attempts that harm the unity within the NAM are deplorable.

Question: You mentioned the importance of respect for the international law principles, which have been blatantly violated by Armenia for decades. How can we be sure that Armenia will adhere to these principles, especially taking into account the raise of anti-Azerbaijan thinking and the revanchist approach in this country?

Answer: Unfortunately, we observe a dramatic rise in intolerance and xenophobia in Armenia. What is particularly troubling is that this trend is aimed not only against Azerbaijan but now covers any nation or group that would dare to express an opinion even slightly differing from an Armenian line. In this country, the Nazi collaborators are idolized and international terrorists are glorified. An incomprehensible act of vandalism was recently taken against the monument to such a world-known proponent of peace and tolerance as Mahatma Gandhi.

Such trends of extremism are dangerous and they must be addressed immediately. Armenia must be encouraged to abandon toxic ideas of national supremacy and territorial expansion. Armenia must finally start abiding by international law and making its key principles a basis for the normalization of relations with neighboring states. Only then will Armenia start benefiting from the good neighborhood and regional cooperation.

Azerbaijan, in its turn, continues to be strongly committed to peace, security, regional development and cooperation on the basis of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders.

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