Serbian arms sale to Armenia, dismissal of Azerbaijani ambassador to Georgia – how are the two connected
Experts in Baku and Tbilisi suggest that the unexpected dismissal of Azerbaijani Ambassador to Georgia Dursun Hasanov on August 17 without explanation is connected to a recent scandal concerning the sale of weapons from Serbia to Armenia during the aggravation of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border on July 12-16, 2020.
Georgia became involved in the scandal after the Azeri newspaper haqqin.az stated that weapons were supplied through its territory.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry categorically denied this information, but the opposition in Georgia still has questions.
Also on August 17, the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia Eldar Hasanov was officially dismissed from his post after being arrested in Baku on August 13 as part of a criminal investigation into corruption at the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
On the same day, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev called Russian President Vladimir Putin to express “serious concern” about “provision of military supplies from Russia to Armenia after the end of clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border – from July 17 to the present.”
President Aliyev named a specific volume of military cargo – over 400 tonnes. He also said that the transportation is carried out through the airspace of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran.
Erkin Gadirli, a member of the Azerbaijani parliament from the opposition ReAL party, the simultaneous recall of the ambassadors in Serbia and Georgia is not an accident, but is connected with the case of the supply of Serbian weapons to Armenia through Georgia during the escalation of clashes on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan on July 12-16, 2020.
“In those days, Russia was also supplying weapons to Armenia. Will the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia be recalled as well? I do not know. But I know that Serbia and Georgia [if the information about the supply of weapons through its territory is confirmed] violated the terms of the UN arms trade treaty.
One of the main principles of that treaty is to avoid forceful pressure and forceful threats to the territorial integrity and political sovereignty of states.
By supplying weapons to Armenia that seized our territories, Serbia and Georgia violated this principle of the treaty to which they are parties. Both countries knew that the weapon would be used against Azerbaijan, it was impossible [for Azerbaijan] not to find out about it”.
Former ambassador Dursun Hasanov is remembered in Azerbaijan for the fact that during one of his speeches he confused Karabakh with Gardabani.
Probably, the reason was that the first letters of these words in the Azerbaijani language are identical – Qarabağ and Qardabani.
Faig Guliyev, who previously held the post of Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Diaspora, has been apointed the new ambassador to Georgia.