‘History is not the strong side of Azerbaijan’ – Armenian foreign ministry spokesperson comments on Aliyev’s statements
YEREVAN, APRIL 15, ARMENPRESS. Spokesperson of the Armenian foreign ministry Anna Naghdalyan says it’s ridiculous when a leader of a country, whose name has a history of a century only even in the South Caucasus both in political and even geographical terms, presents territorial claims to Armenia and the Armenian people in their cradle.
Anna Naghdalyan gave an interview to ARMENPRESS, commenting on the recent statements made by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, as well as the statement of the Armenian National Committee on not providing Canada with facts proving the use of Canadian technologies in the Turkish Bayraktar combat drones.
-During a recent conference “A New Glance to the South Caucasus: Development and Cooperation in Post-Conflict Period” the Azerbaijani President stated that Armenia has been proposed to sign a peace agreement, but there is no response yet. Are meetings with the Azerbaijani side expected in this context or in the future in general?
-No such meeting is planned. Besides, the Armenophobic position and behavior of the Azerbaijani leadership do not provide a ground to expect constructiveness from the Azerbaijani authorities for finding solutions to the current situation caused by the recent aggression against Artsakh. The vivid evidence of what I said are the statements made by Aliyev during the opening of a “park” in Baku on April 12 dedicated to the Artsakh War and the organization of a demonstration there with disrespect to the memory of the fallen Armenian soldiers.
All these, as well as the speculation of the issue of prisoners of war by Azerbaijan come to prove how far the Azerbaijani authorities stand from their declarative statements on the post-war situation, the regional peace and reconciliation.
The President of Azerbaijan continues making contradictory statements: on the one hand, they present to their own audience the thesis that the conflict is solved, on the other hand, they are talking about signing a peace treaty and that some issues of the NK conflict are not solved during an event organized for the international audience.
Let me just make a simple notification in this regard that in order to sign a peace agreement, first of all a peace process is necessary, which has been stopped after Azerbaijan’s use of force.
-During that conference Aliyev has once again distorted the historical facts, trying again to mislead the international community and his own audience. He stated that Zangezur is the historical land of Azerbaijan and also expressed his aspirations towards Yerevan and Lake Sevan. How would you comment on these statements?
-It’s ridiculous that a leader of a country, whose name has a history of only a century even in the territory of the South Caucasus both in political and geographical terms, is presenting territorial claims towards Armenia and the Armenian people in their cradle. We understand that a process of formation of a new identity has been and is going in Azerbaijan over the past 100 years, but we want to state again that history is not the strong side of Azerbaijan.
Such provocative statements distort the efforts aimed at establishing stability in the region, which is a threat to all states of the region.
-Canada has made a decision over the use of Bayraktar drones. The Armenian National Committee of Canada has announced that Canada has asked Armenia to provide any information which will allow to prove the use of Canadian technologies in Bayraktar drones, however, the Armenian authorities have not provided any information. What will you say on this?
-In cooperation with the Defense Ministry, comprehensive information about the weapons used by the Turkish-Azerbaijani alliance against Artsakh and its people has been provided to all our partners. That information, also in the form of respective reports, has been provided from the very first days of the war. The reports are about Turkey’s involvement in the military operations and its transfer of terrorists [to the conflict zone], the use of banned weapons by Azerbaijan, etc.
In order to be more clear on this issue, let me present a simple situation: our Embassies in those countries, which produce technologies for Bayraktar drones, including the Armenian Embassy in Canada, were tasked during the war days to apply to the host countries requesting to stop the supply of these technologies to Turkey. As a result of the steps taken, Bombardier, a leading Canadian company, leaving aside its business obligations, decided to stop the sale of engines manufactured by its Austrian subsidiary Rotax to Turkey by an Italian delivering company.
I assure you that the same work has been done with Veskam: the necessary information has been provided to the Armenian Embassies upon receiving it. This work has been done also in the Canadian direction, although the Canadian side has not officially requested such information. I would like to add that the talk is not about the media reports and statements, but about the factual evidence which are absolutely for official use. I cannot provide any other details in this regard.
-The foreign minister of Azerbaijan has announced that the issue of the prisoners of war is solved as, according to him, Azerbaijan has transferred all POWs to Armenia. However, there was no official response to this from the Armenian side. What is our strategy on this issue?
-The Armenian foreign ministry has repeatedly presented its position over this issue at various levels. I want to add that the statement of the Azerbaijani FM is nothing more than an open ignorance to its own commitments assumed by the 2020 November 9 statement and its international obligations. Such unconstructive position and behavior of the Azerbaijani authorities endanger the complete implementation of the November 9 trilateral statement.
We have stated repeatedly that according to the international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions and the trilateral statement on the ceasefire, all servicemen and civilians, captured during and after the military aggression launched against Artsakh, should be returned by Azerbaijan without any preconditions, based on “all for all” principle.
We expect the practical support of the international community, firstly the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries and the international specialized organizations in order to ensure the quick and safe return of all prisoners of war and civilians who are in the Azerbaijani captivity.
On April 13 the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs issued a statement, where they clearly touched upon this issue. Many of our international partners have also expressed their position on this issue, stating that the prisoners of war should be immediately repatriated.
Interview by Narine Nazaryan
Editing and Translating by Aneta Harutyunyan