Armenia failed to achieve its goals, and its military provocation on the border with Azerbaijan turned into a complete fiasco, said Hikmat Hajiyev Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration in his interview with the Russian National Defense magazine.
Hajiyev noted that the July 12 escalation in the direction of Tovuz district along the Azerbaijan-Armenia border was the result of an Armenian provocation.
“With this military adventure, Yerevan pursued several goals. They can be conditionally divided into internal and external ones,” he said.
The Azerbaijani official stressed that the internal goals are connected with the worsening situation in Armenia against the background of the difficult political and socio-economic conditions and the coronavirus-related deplorable situation.
“As you know, in 2018 Pashinyan came to power by making populist promises. But time has shown that his government is unable to fulfill those promises in order to change life in the country for the better. The situation with COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated the inefficiency of the Armenian government. Therefore, against the backdrop of growing difficulties, the Pashinyan government is seeking to divert the population’s attention from internal problems,” he added.
The assistant to the president associated one of the external reasons behind the Armenian military provocation with Azerbaijan’s great success in the international arena.
“Azerbaijan’s strengthening international positions, especially concerning the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, arouse the envy of Armenia,” Hajiyev said. “Against this background, Armenia, which is pursuing a destructive policy and keeping the Azerbaijani territories under occupation, seeks to divert the attention of the international community from the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories by creating a new hotbed of tension, but this time on the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border.”
With such provocations, Yerevan is trying to create an opinion that Azerbaijan is allegedly attacking Armenian territory and to drag military-political organizations, of which it is a member, into the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, stressed the official.
He went on to say that Armenia also pursued a goal to threaten strategic international projects, such as oil and gas pipelines, the East-West transport corridor.
“We can confidently say that Armenia failed to achieve its goals, and its military provocation has turned into a complete fiasco,” Hajiyev noted.
He also said that the military operations were first launched by the Armenian armed forces. “On July 12, the Armenian side, using artillery mounts, launched an attack on the Azerbaijani army’s positions. This attack was suppressed by retaliatory fire.”
The official emphasized that Azerbaijan has does not have any military plans and objectives on the state border with Armenia.
“With the aim of demilitarization, Azerbaijan’s border guards were entrusted with protecting this part of the border with Armenia. Escalation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border does not meet Azerbaijan’s interests. On the contrary, the creation of a new hotbed of tension in this section is in the interests of Armenia,” he added.
The assistant to the Azerbaijani president also clarified Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan’s views that Baku and Yerevan created a special communication channel, through which, if necessary, he can contact the Azerbaijani leader to resolve the military incident.
“There is no such communication channel between the Azerbaijani president and the Armenian prime minister. There is a certain communication channel between the authorized representatives of the two countries. Experience has shown that as a result of factors related to Armenia, this communication channel is practically ineffective. In fact, there is no one to keep touch in touch with. This proves once again that the Armenian side is not sincere in its actions,” he said.
Hajiyev stressed that during the April 12 clashes the Azerbaijani Army fully protected the country’s territorial integrity, ensured the border inviolability and the safety of civilians. “We believe that this will be a good lesson for those who dream of a “new war for new territories”.”
Reiterating Azerbaijan’s commitment to a political and diplomatic solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Hajiyev emphasized the inadmissibility of ‘negotiations for the sake of negotiations.”
“For the conflict resolution, substantive negotiations are needed with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group to discuss the issues related to the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Azerbaijan demands the withdrawal of the occupying Armenian forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts, as well as the safe return of IDPs to their native lands. The international community, in turn, should warn the occupant Armenia about the inadmissibility of changing the internationally recognized borders by force. In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the positions expressed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during the Valdai International Discussion Club: “Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and exclamation mark!”, Hajiyev concluded.