January 13, 2021 - 20:23 AMT
Azerbaijan rejects own commitment to Karabakh deal, Armenia tells UN

Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian has sent a letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres, noting that Azerbaijan is hampering the process of the exchange of prisoners of war after the military hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. Ayvazian said Azerbaijan, in fact, refuses to implement its commitment under a trilateral statement it approved alongside Armenia and Russia which is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law.

The Minister noted that amid the unprecedented global health crisis, the violation of the decades-long ceasefire in the region has led to numerous casualties, large-scale ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Artsakh (Karabakh), deliberate destruction, desecration and vandalism of the Armenian religious and cultural monuments.

In the letter, the Foreign Minister weighed in on cases of violations of the November 9 trilateral statement by Azerbaijan, noting that more than a month after the ceasefire was established, Azerbaijan carried out military operations in Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd villages of Hadrut region of Artsakh. It was noted that during the military attack, the Azerbaijani armed forces captured 64 Armenian servicemen, violating Azerbaijan's commitments to maintain the ceasefire established by the trilateral statement.

"The incomplete implementation of the Article 8 of the trilateral statement by Azerbaijan was emphasized in the letter, which mandates the “exchange of prisoners of war, hostages, and other detained persons and dead bodies''. It was stressed that Azerbaijan, in fact, refuses to implement its commitment which is a blatant violation of international humanitarian law," the letter said.

Minister Aivazian drew the attention of the UN Secretary General to the reluctance of Azerbaijan regarding the cooperation with international organizations in cultural heritage protection. “Lasting and sustainable peace in the region could be achieved only through the comprehensive resolution of the conflict that will include the status of Nagorno-Karabakh based on the realization of the right of self-determination of the people of Artsakh,” concluded the Foreign Minister of Armenia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev on November 9 signed a statement to end the war in Karabakh after almost 45 days. Under the deal, the Armenian side has returned all the seven regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, having lost a part of Karabakh itself in hostilities.