Baku Protests 10th Anniversary Celebrations

BAKU (Armenpress)– "The so-called anniversary celebration taking place in Khankendi [The Azeri name for Stepanakert] are in severe violation of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty–its constitution and laws–as well as the United Nations charter–international norm and the principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe," read an announcement issued by the Azeri foreign ministry late Thursday evening–reported the Itar-Tass news agency.

The announcement comes on the heels of festive celebrations scheduled to take place throughout Karabakh marking the 10th anniversary of the liberation movement.

The Azeri foreign ministry announcement suggested that the celebrations challenged the international community–international public opinion and the basis of the international law.

The foreign ministry asserted that these celebrations deliberately coincided with the "wide occupation of Azeri territories–bloody massacres and the displacement of thousands of Azeris who were deported from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas."

The Azeri foreign ministry also protested to Russia for sending its representatives to the celebrations–referring to Russian officials and Duma members who were on hand at the 10th anniversary celebrations in Stepanakert.

"This advocates separatism and encourages further illegal acts [by Nagorno-Karabakh Armenia’s]," read the announcement.

Azerbaijan also stated that such actions by Russia threatened bi-lateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

On the occasion of celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the Karabakh liberation movement–the Karabakh government extended 30 official invitations to Russian political figures–Duma deputies and media representatives. The Russian guests arrived in Stepanakert via Yerevan on Wednesday.

The Itar-Tass news agency reported that Azeri Foreign Advisor Vafa Goulouzade said Wednesday that the visit of former Russian Security Council Secretary Alexander Lebed to Nagorno-Karabakh was a "violation of international ethics and international norms."

He found that the actions of General Lebed would cause serious damage to a peaceful resolution of the conflict–initiated by the OSCE Co-Chair countries Russia–US and France.

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