Who’s tampering with the Karabakh agreement? Differing opinions in Azerbaijan, Armenia
On March 4, an online summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization took place. At this meeting, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev invited the leaders of the countries belonging to this organization to use the Zangezur Corridor, a statement which provoked an angry reaction from Armenia.
What is the Economic Cooperation Organization?
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is a regional interstate economic organization founded in 1985. The founding countries are Iran, Pakistan and Turkey.
In 1992, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan joined the ECO.
ECO has observer status in the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
What did Aliyev say?
Speaking at the summit, President Aliyev said:
“In 2020, Azerbaijan put an end to the almost 30-year occupation of our lands by Armenia by military-political means. The military victory won over Armenia on the battlefield was finally secured by political means.
“The UN Security Council Resolutions, adopted in 1993, demanding the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, remained on paper for 27 years. Azerbaijan itself ensured the implementation of these resolutions and restored its territorial integrity. The invaders were expelled from Karabakh, which is an ancient Azerbaijani land. Within 44 days, the Armenian army was completely defeated. On November 10, 2020, Azerbaijan forced Armenia to sign an act of surrender.”
Further, Ilham Aliyev spoke about the road that will connect the main part of the territory of Azerbaijan with its exclave – Nakhchivan.
“Today we are thinking about the future. To ensure peace and stability in the region, we have started discussing transport projects connecting many countries. Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran demonstrate a common position in connection with the implementation of transport projects in the region. Armenia, if it behaves normally, will also be able to benefit from this process.
“In this context, I would like to note that the new transport corridor, which will pass through the historical territory of Azerbaijan – Zangezur and connect the main part of Azerbaijan with the integral part of our country – the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic – and Turkey, will open up new opportunities in the transport sector in the region. We invite the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization to use the Zangezur corridor,” he said.
“Aliyev disrupts trilateral agreements on Karabakh” – statement of the Armenian Foreign Ministry
The Armenian Foreign Ministry reacted to the statements of Ilham Aliyev, who called Zangezur (Syunik region in southern Armenia) “the historical territory of Azerbaijan” and stated that the new transport corridor “will connect the main part of Azerbaijan with the integral part of the country – the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic – and Turkey.”
“I repeat once again that paragraph 9 of the tripartite statement of November 9 does not mention the creation of any corridor.
Calling Zangezur “Azerbaijani historical territory” and referring to the fictitious corridor, the President of Azerbaijan with such a provocative statement deliberately undermines the implementation of the trilateral statements of November 9 and January 11. “
The trilateral agreement signed by the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia ended hostilities in Karabakh at the end of 2020, and provided for the implementation of transit projects in the region.
Such rhetoric, according to the press secretary, contradicts the obligations undertaken by Azerbaijan, it is an open challenge to international law and does not contribute to the establishment of stability in the region.
Naghdalyan also commented on Aliyev’s statement that Azerbaijan solved the Karabakh problem by military means and implemented the resolutions of the UN Security Council. These statements once again show who initiated the war and the use of force, who is leading the region to destabilization and challenges, the spokeswoman believes:
“As always, Azerbaijan distorts the essence of the provisions of the UN Security Council resolutions, although these same resolutions express support for the peace process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, which is headed by its co-chairs.”
With his statements, the President of Azerbaijan once again opposes the international community and, first of all, as Naghdalyan noted, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, whose position is a comprehensive solution to the conflict.
“It is obvious to us that an attempt to suppress by force the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh cannot create the basis for the settlement of the conflict. Realization of the right of the people of Artsakh to self-determination and elimination of the consequences of the war are the key components of the conflict settlement,” Anna Naghdalyan said.
Azerbaijani MP proposes to block the “Lachin corridor”
Azerbaijani MP Fazil Mustafa in his interview with turkustan.info touched upon the issue of the Zangezur Corridor:
“The meetings continue in accordance with the terms of the trilateral statement of November 10, 2020. All points of this document must be followed. The road through Zangezur must be open. If this road does not open, Azerbaijan must declare that it will close the Lachin Corridor. Thus, let us make it clear to the Russian peacekeepers that one point of the statement is being fulfilled, but the other is not being fulfilled. Azerbaijan must demonstrate its principled position on this issue.”