Azerbaijan not interested in military escalation with Armenia
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 Bernama
Azerbaijan is not interested in military escalation with Armenia, said the Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the embassy of Azerbaijan in Malaysia, Rafig Rustamov.
In a statement to Bernama, he said on the contrary, the Azerbaijan government is currently implementing large-scale investment projects by allocating billions of dollars in areas close to the latest military escalation zone.
"We also undertake wide-range post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation works. Military confrontations are an immediate danger to these projects," he said in a statement explaining his government’s position following the latest clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia at their border on Tuesday.
Both sides have traded accusations about the fighting, which is the deadliest since their September 2020 war.
Azerbaijan claimed Armenian forces had fired on its army positions in three regions and that "Armenian saboteurs" planted landmines in its areas; and as a result, its armed forces took measures to suppress the provocations. Armenia denied the allegations and claimed that Azerbaijan had attacked Armenia’s towns near the border from different directions, thus forcing it to respond.
Armenia said 49 of its soldiers have been killed in the clashes, while on the Azerbaijan side, it claimed 50 of its soldiers have been killed.
Baku said since 9am on September 13, taking into account the requests of foreign partners, an agreement was reached on a ceasefire.
Rustamov further claimed that Yerevan's action undermine the Brussels meeting on August 31, 2022, adding that after the meeting, Azerbaijan proposed to hold a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries at the end of September, but the peaceful proposal of Azerbaijan was left unanswered by Armenia.
He said at the meeting an agreement was reached regarding the launching of negotiations on the normalisation of relations between the two countries based on mutual recognition and respect for each other's territorial integrity, sovereignty, and state borders.
"Also, just a few days ago, the Azerbaijani side demonstrated another good-will gesture and released five more citizens of Armenia detained in Azerbaijan. This process took place directly between Azerbaijan and Armenia without mediation by any third party as an indicator of goodwill with a view to contributing to the peace process".
"Anyway, this is gunfire against the peace agenda, which is extremely required for security, prosperity, and coexistence in our neighbourhood. Armenia without any delay must come back to the table of peace talks," Rustamov said.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had voiced deep concern about the fighting and had called on the sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions, exercise maximum restraint and resolve any outstanding issues through dialogue.
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia started in 1988 – three years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. And in 1992, war broke out between the two former Soviet states, resulting in Armenian occupation of 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s internationally-recognised territory, including the mountainous part of Karabakh and seven surrounding districts.
The Second Karabakh War, which erupted on Sept 27, 2020, resulted in Azerbaijan liberating most of its occupied territories. The two countries signed a Russianbrokered agreement on Nov 10, 2020, to end the fighting and work towards the signing of a comprehensive peace agreement.