Time running out for appeals...
    Solution needed

    ANALYTICS  26 March 2023 - 12:52

    Samir Veliyev

    International mediation efforts have a very strong chance of resulting in the signing of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but Yerevan is still pursuing the same strategies, including military and political provocations. Let's discuss facts instead of generalisations.

    Two Azerbaijani army soldiers were murdered on March 5 while attempting to stop the illegal transfer of military supplies, ammunition, and troops from Armenia to Azerbaijan, where the Russian peacekeeping force is now stationed, over the unpaved Khankendi-Khalfali-Turshsu road.

    On March 20, Armenian Armed Forces units opened fire at positions of Azerbaijani State Border Guard Service border troops in the Zangilan district along the Azerbaijani-Armenian state border, wounding an Azerbaijani border guard.

    More provocations on March 24. Military forces of the Armenian Armed Forces fired small guns of various calibres against opposing Azerbaijani army positions from locations along the conditional Azerbaijan-Armenia boundary in various directions. In addition, soldiers from illegal Armenian armed formations bombarded our army's positions in the Khojavand direction from Azerbaijani land, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily deployed.

    In addition, the Armenian side keeps transporting ammunition and manpower into Azerbaijani territory via unpaved roads. This was once again reported by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence on March 24. It should also be noted that illegal Armenian armed formations are building new roads in Karabakh on several routes through mountainous and unpaved areas, as well as expanding old trails. For this purpose, military, engineering and special equipment are used, and contract servicemen and local residents are used as a workforce. And all of this is recorded by the Azerbaijani army's technical surveillance equipment.

    Azerbaijan is certainly not going to remain silent about the smuggling of weapons and personnel into its sovereign territory from Armenia. The country has frequently issued high-level warnings about this, including to the Russian peacekeepers stationed in the area. Baku finally made the right choice only after multiple requests from the Azerbaijani side had been ignored: to stop the shipment of ammunition and other military supplies to Karabakh, the Azerbaijani army took the required steps to seize control of alternative routes. In other words, just as it had to deal with the issue of the takeover of Azerbaijani territory during the Patriotic War of 2020, Azerbaijan was obliged to deal with this issue on its own.

    We do not think that at this stage Armenia will abandon its militarist policy of escalating the situation and armed provocations. But both the international community and the Armenian people themselves need to know that responsibility for any possible conflict lies with the Armenian military and political leadership. For two and a half years Baku has been patiently waiting for Yerevan to come to its senses and take the path of constructive dialogue. This has so far not happened. And if the international community is interested in the signing of a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan, it should force the Pashinyan government to stop provocations and refrain from steps aimed at disrupting the negotiation process.

    But it is important to remember that just as Azerbaijan itself enforced four UN Security Council resolutions, it will also force Yerevan to implement all the points of the Trilateral Statement of November 10, 2020. The time for appeals to Russian peacekeepers and warnings to Armenia is over. Now Azerbaijan, like a skilful surgeon wielding a scalpel, is opening the stinking boil and solving the problems itself.


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