The people of Artsakh cannot survive in their historic homeland without the Defense Army, and suggesting the withdrawal of the Defense Army from Artsakh is tantamount to evicting Armenians from Artsakh, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday in direct response to more provocations from official Baku.
Official Yerevan called a statement issued Wednesday, in which Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry insisted that the November 9 agreement stipulates that Armenian Armed Forces could not be deployed in Artaskh an “outright lie.”
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry emphasized that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have intensified their provocations against both the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia and units of the Artsakh Defense Army.
“The Azerbaijani side is attempting to cover up its aggressive actions by accusing the Armenian side of violating the November 9 trilateral statement, while at the same time it is openly distorting the November 9 statement,” said the foreign ministry statement.
“We consider it necessary to mention that the first point of the November 9 announcement clearly defines: ‘… the parties stop at their positions.’ Meanwhile, a month after the signing of the declaration, Azerbaijani military units launched an attack on the villages of Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd in the Hadrut region of Artsakh, as a result of which they occupied those settlements, killed and captured Armenian soldiers,” said the foreign ministry.
“Currently, the Azerbaijani side is also trying to occupy new territories in different parts of the line of contact, targeting Armenian positions with various weapons, including drones,” added the foreign ministry, which cited attacks on positions near the villages of Mkhitarashen on Wednesday as an example.
Azerbaijan’s claims that the November 9 trilateral statement stipulates the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno Karabakh is an outright lie,” said Armenia’s foreign ministry.
“Under current conditions, the Artsakh Defense Army, which was formed by the people of Artsakh in the 1990s, has played a key role in the security [of Artsakh] for the last 30 years,” the foreign ministry statement explained.
“Today, together with the Russian peacekeepers, [the Artsakh Defense Army] ensures the security and the right to life of the people of Artsakh. The people of Artsakh cannot survive in their historic homeland without the Defense Army, and to suggest the withdrawal the Defense Army from Artsakh is tantamount to evicting Armenians from Artsakh,” the Foreign Ministry stressed.
Official Yerevan also reiterate that Armenia has and continues to comply with the provisions of the November 9 agreement and insisted to resume peace talks under the OSCE Minsk Group banner. The foreign ministry also demanded the immediate withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia’s sovereign territory and called for the immediate return of Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives, as a guarantor for regional peace and security.
Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry David Babayan told Artsakhpress that Azerbaijan’s distortion of the facts was “nothing but provocation and terrorism.”
“By intimidating the people of Artsakh and forcing them to lose faith in the future of Artsakh, the enemy aims to evict Armenians from Artsakh. Azerbaijan is trying to cover up its aggressive actions at various levels by spreading false statements,” Babayan said.
“We are not ruling out that the the enemy, on the advice of Turkey, is also trying to strike a blow at the Armenian-Russian alliance, overshadowing the mission of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in the region,” Babayan told Artsakhpress.