No:223/22, Comment of the Head of the Press Service Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva on the views expressed by the Prime Minister of Armenia N.Pashinyan during his speech at the Institute of International Relations of the Netherlands
The unfounded allegations made by the Armenian Prime Minister against Azerbaijan during his speech at the Clingendael Institute of International Relations in the Netherlands, including untrue accusations on humanitarian issues, show that the Armenian leadership is far from being sincere in the issue of normalizing relations between the two countries.
First of all, we recall that after Azerbaijan liberated its territories from occupation, the country brought to the attention of world community the fact of large scale contamination of these territories by landmines by Armenia, including the deliberate plantings of mines for almost 30 years of occupation, as well as while withdrawing from the territories after the signing of a trilateral statement, the serious threat posed by landmines to human security and appealed to make a pressure on Armenia to release mine maps. Armenia initially denied the existence of the mine maps. Later, facing the position of the international community on this issue, Armenia handed over the mine maps to Azerbaijan in parts, but the accuracy of the maps was 25%. In general, it would be incorrect to describe Armenia's submission of mine maps to Azerbaijan as a humanitarian gesture, as it was Armenia's obligation under international humanitarian law after the signing of the trilateral statement.
Since the signing of the trilateral statement, 219 people, mostly civilians, have been killed by landmines. Unfortunately, our citizens regularly fall victim to landmines, including after the submission of maps by the Armenian side, as well as after the meeting of the two leaders in Brussels. As a result of 9 incidents in April of this year alone, 10 people were injured by landmines.
Azerbaijan is currently rebuilding and restoring the territories destroyed by Armenia for nearly 30 years. Work is being done day and night so that people, who have been expelled from their lands for decades, can return home. However, the large-scale landmine problem in these areas poses a serious threat to the early return of IDPs. The only reason for that is the aggressive policy pursued by Armenia for 30 years and its destructive activities.
In this case, the accusation of the Prime Minister of Armenia against Azerbaijan for not taking humanitarian steps and not returning the Armenian detainees is inappropriate and unfounded. It would be good for the Armenian leader to first understand the reasons for the detention in Azerbaijan of saboteurs of Armenian origin who entered the territory of Azerbaijan illegally.
Of course, humanitarian issues are an important part of the peace agenda, and that is why Azerbaijan has always been guided by the principles of humanism in its activities, even during the 44 days war and after the war, unilaterally took humanitarian steps. However, the Armenian side must finally understand that for peace it is necessary not only to speak, but to act.
However, the fact that the Armenian Prime Minister is still making baseless allegations against Azerbaijan seriously calls into question the country's desire to act for peace.