NKR Foreign Ministry Responds to Azerbaijani Claims

Military drillAzerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Armenia “continues to strengthen its military presence and capabilities on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.” The November 21 statement went on to say that two Armenian MI-24 helicopters approached “the immediate vicinity of the positions of the armed forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan nearby the village of Kengerly in the occupied Aghdam district of the Republic of Azerbaijan and one of the helicopters was shot down at the very same occupied territory…This is yet another manifestation of Armenia’s aggression, its direct involvement in the occupation of the territories and continued use of force against the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry statement also made specific references to UN Security Council Resolution 853, passed in 1993, among them the passage which “condemns the seizure of the district of Agdam and of all other recently occupied areas of the Azerbaijani Republic and demands immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces involved from the district of Aghdam and all other recently occupied areas of the Azerbaijani Republic.”

News.am asked the Foreign Ministry of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to respond to this statement. Below is the full text of that response: “It is regrettable that, ignoring the calls of the international community to take concrete steps towards creating conditions for the recovery of the bodies of the crew and to refrain from such ceasefire violations, Azerbaijan continues to make statements, where it distorts the essence of the incident and manipulates facts. In its attempts to justify the gross violations of the norms of humanitarian law, Baku yet again invokes the UN Security Council resolutions. We deem it appropriate to remind them that the first and foremost requirement of all four resolutions was the immediate ceasefire, cessation of all hostilities and hostile acts. However, this basic requirement present in all resolutions has been repeatedly violated by Azerbaijan and has not been fully implemented so far, as evidenced by the incident with the downed helicopter. Azerbaijan’s disregard towards the requirements of the four UN Security Council resolutions, its obvious desire to resolve the conflict by force and constant threats of a renewed war have led to the devaluation and loss of effectiveness of these resolutions.”

On November 12, the unarmed helicopter of the Karabakh Defense Army was performing military drills near the Karabakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact when it was shot down by Azerbaijani armed forces killing the three pilots on board.