Azerbaijani Ambassador to UN: “The co-chairs’ statement is equivocal and illogical”

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Azerbaijani Ambassador to UN: “The co-chairs’ statement is equivocal and illogical”  Azerbaijani Ambassador to UN: “The co-chairs’ statement is equivocal and illogical”  It is difficult to find a fair formula of solution, unless the conflict and the actions of the conflicting parties are assessed within the framework of the international law
Azerbaijani Permanent Representative to UN, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev’s exclusive interview to APA’s US bureau.

– OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs released a statement concerning your two reports circulated in the UN. Please, give detailed information about the reports that caused concern of the co-chairs. 

– We presented two reports to the UN Secretary General under the instruction of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry. One is the “Report about legal complications of Armenian Republic’s military aggression against Azerbaijan Republic” and the other is “Report about self-determination against the background of basic norm of the states’ territorial integrity and Armenia’s revisionist claims”. The first report covers two questions. First, has Armenia committed military aggression against Azerbaijan, its Nagorno-Karabakh territory and surrounding regions? The second, does Azerbaijan have the right to defend itself from Armenia in accordance with the UN Charter? The first report prepared as a result of serious studies gives positive answer to both questions. The second report first of all, covers concept of the states’ territorial integrity, status of the principle of self-determination and its evolution, content of Armenians’ claims, particularly their claims for Nagorno-Karabakh. The report comes to the conclusion that Armenia’s claim to separate Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan contradicts the international legal norms. Moreover, Armenia’s actions against a neighboring state prove that official Yerevan violated the international legal norms and especially norms of territorial integrity.

– What is the status of the documents presented to the UN Secretary General and why are they circulated now?

– The above-mentioned reports were circulated by the UN Secretariat at the request of Azerbaijan within the framework of the 63rd session of the General Assembly and Security Council. You know that two draft resolutions – situation in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and “frozen conflicts” in GUAM – will be discussed in the 63rd session. Our report will be important sources of information for the sides taking interest in these resolutions. Both documents presented to the 63rd session covers Azerbaijan’s official position. We consider that it is difficult to find a fair formula of solution, unless the conflict and the actions of the parties involved in the conflict are assessed within the framework of the international law. On the other hand, statements are often made that the conflict should be solved basing on balancing of three principles. These three principles are the states’ territorial integrity, peoples’ right to self-determination and non-use of force.

– MG co-chairs commenting on the reports said the main element of just solution to protracted conflict was non-use of force. What’s your stance on this?

– I think that either co-chairs did not familiarize with our statements, or they did not read them attentively. Otherwise, it is difficult to understand the reason of their statement. Our reports aim to analyse and investigate decisions of international courts, states’ experiences, many documents. Co-Chairs know that UN Charter, OSCE Helsinki Final Act and other documents prohibit an attempt on territorial integrity of countries. Armenia occupying a part of Azerbaijani lands has already breached the principle. It is clear that Armenia pursues an aggressive policy at present and Azerbaijani lands are under occupation. Azerbaijan being a victim of the aggressive policy of Armenia is able to defend itself at present. The UN Charter covers its right and member countries along with other countries voted for it. Azerbaijan states at a high level that official Baku supports peaceful solution to the conflict. My country wishes it sincerely and we want to solve the conflict via political and diplomatic ways. We have stated many times that negotiations could not be conducted for a long time and Azerbaijan would not give a chance for legalization and annexation of occupied lands. We plan to take several political and legal measures to restore our rights. We should take proper steps within international legal norms to restore the territorial integrity of our country.

– Co-Chairs are sure that legal and historical backgrounds should not impede the negotiation process. Saying this they take Azerbaijan’s attempt on clarification of several important questions on solution to the conflict into account. Why are the co-chairs concerned about Azerbaijan’s above-mentioned statements?

– The co-chairs’ statements are equivocal and illogical. They base on Moscow Declaration speaking against legal discussions of the conflict. The Declaration covers the conflict parties’ commitments to international legal norms. Our documents do not stand for discussions. The international law has unambiguously determined the norms about rights of the side suffered from occupation, role and responsibility of occupier, occupation fact. There is no need to make comments on territorial integrity, superiority of self-determination principle, protection of balance between the two principles. I want to note that the international law has already answered these questions unambiguously. The statements presented us envisage Azerbaijan’s position on solution to the conflict within the framework of international norms, sovereignty and territorial integrity. /APA/