Azerbaijan calls on Armenians in Karabakh to stay, but won't stop anyone from leaving, MFA says

  28 September 2023    Read: 293
Azerbaijan calls on Armenians in Karabakh to stay, but won

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan is well aware the departure of Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan is their personal decision and has nothing in common with forced relocation, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said, reports.

The Azerbaijani ministry made the remark in response to accusations made by Pashinyan at the Armenian government meeting on September 28.

"If some Armenian residents of Karabakh does not wish to live and abide by the laws of Azerbaijan, we cannot force them to do so. On the contrary, we call on the Armenian residents not to leave their places of residence and to become part of Azerbaijan's multi-ethnic society," the ministry noted.

"To establish peace and security in the region, Armenia must remove the barriers hindering the reintegration process of Armenian residents and focus on successfully concluding the negotiation process for a peaceful agreement based on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of both countries," added the ministry.

In order to ensure the provisions of the Trilateral Statement [signed by Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders following the 2020 second Karabakh war], to stop large-scale provocations in the Karabakh economic region, to disarm and withdraw formations of the Armenian armed forces from the territories of Azerbaijan, to neutralize their military infrastructure, to ensure the safety of the peaceful population returning to the territories liberated from occupation, civil servants involved in construction and reconstruction work, and Azerbaijan's military personnel, as well as to restore the constitutional order of the Republic of Azerbaijan, anti-terrorist measures have been conducted in the region.

Within the framework of the activities, positions of Armenian armed forces formations, their long-term firing points, as well as military means and military facilities, were disrupted using high-precision weapons in the front line and in depth. Civilians and civilian infrastructure were not targets, only legitimate military targets were disabled.

Taking into account the appeal of the representatives of the Armenian residents of Karabakh, received through the Russian peacekeeping contingent [temporarily stationed in Azerbaijan under the trilateral statement], an agreement was reached on the suspension of anti-terrorist activities of local nature on September 20, 2023, at 13:00 (GMT+4) under the following conditions: the Armenian armed forces formations and Armenian illegal armed formations located in Azerbaijan's Karabakh region shall lay down their weapons, leave their combat positions and military posts, and fully disarm. The units of the armed forces of Armenia shall leave the territory of Azerbaijan, and the Armenian illegal armed formations shall be disbanded.

Ramin Mammadov, responsible for contacts with the Armenian residents of Karabakh, held a regular meeting with representatives of the Armenian residents of Karabakh in the town of Khojaly on September 25, 2023.

At the meeting, which took place in a constructive atmosphere, satisfaction was expressed with the actions taken to resolve the issues discussed on September 21 in Yevlakh, in particular the short-term delivery of humanitarian aid, fuel, and the restoration of electricity supply.

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