Armenian Embassy Denounces Azeri Ambassador’s Remarks

WASHINGTON–In response to statemen’s made by Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US Hafiz Pashayev–the Armenian Embassy in Washington released a media advisory. The text of the Armenian Embassy’s statement follows:

In a recent speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies–Hafiz Pashayev–Azerbaijani Ambassador to the US–made several remarks that–for the record–must be refuted.

Ambassador Pashayev called on the US to appoint a high-ranking diplomat as special negotiator–and to elevate the Karabakh conflict to a higher level on its list of priorities. Armenia–of course–welcomes such remarks and encourages increased levels of US participation–but is perplexed by Azerbaijan’s sudden need to accelerate the OSCE peace process. It was Azerbaijan–less than 10 months ago who rejected a US sponsored OSCE peace proposal on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. It was Azerbaijan–who put an immediate stop to the peace process and took an obstructionist stance. Yet–Ambassador Pashayev refers to the "frozen instability" in the Karabakh conflict–the same "frozen instability," no doubt–initiated by his government’s lack of will to resolve the dispute.

Ambassador Pashayev further stated that "Armenian militias" occupy nearly 30 percent of Azerbaijani territory. It seems as the years go by that number increases–and–in the near future–Azerbaijan will claim that Armenian forces occupy the oil wealth of Baku. Also–let us not forget the recent Azerbaijani violations of the cease-fire. Azerbaijani forces broke the 1994 agreement and advanced several hundred meters–as reported by OSCE monitors. Yet–Ambassador Pashayev continues to portray Azerbaijan as a victim threatened by Armenia through Russia’s sphere of influence in the Caucasus.

Armenia has taken several significant steps and offered numerous compromises to further the peace process to ensure a resolution to the 10 year-old conflict. Armenia remains committed to the OSCE Minsk Group process under the leadership of the US–France and Russia. Peace–and only peace–will bring economic benefits and regional stability to the Caucasus.

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