May 12 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1994, according to the statement.
“The ceasefire in the conflict zone is explicitly connected with the cessation of all military activities, withdrawal of occupying forces, deployment of international observers, restoration of communications, return of displaced population and intensification of negotiation process for final settlement of the conflict,” reads the statement. “It means that ceasefire aims at the set of measures to be implemented serving the above mentioned goals. With other words, ceasefire does not only mean ending the exchange of fire, but also the attempts of consolidating the occupation of territories, entrenching and building up military positions, transferring military equipment and hardware, conducting large-scale military exercises, denying the return of IDPs to their homelands.”
“During last 25 years since the establishment of ceasefire, the occupation of the one fifth of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan resulted in the ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijanis historically living in these territories still continues,” the ministry said. “The armed forces of Armenia continue their illegal presence in the Azerbaijani territories. The demands of the international community, including the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the main body responsible for international security, are rejected by Armenia. As it has been stated by international community, as well as the leaders of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states, status quo established as a result of the occupation of the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan, is unsustainable and unacceptable.”
“Ceasefire also affirms the intensification of the negotiations for cessation of the armed conflict,” the ministry noted. “It is clear that ceasefire is not the settlement of the conflict; it creates necessary conditions for urgent measures to be implemented on the way to the conflict settlement. However, throughout all these years, Armenia has consistently refused to engage in results oriented substantial negotiations on the conflict settlement and ignored the demands of international community to withdraw its occupying forces immediately, completely and unconditionally from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”
Armenia must drop its futile attempts to mislead its own people and wider international community, cease its policy of annexation and ethnic cleansing, comply with its international obligations and engage constructively in the soonest conflict settlement process, according to the statement.
“Ensuring the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders of Azerbaijan, allowing the return of the forcibly expelled Azerbaijani population to the places of their permanent residence and promoting peaceful coexistence of Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh region within the Republic of Azerbaijan will lay a solid foundation for restoring good neighborly relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and bringing peace, security and cooperation in the region,” reads the statement.