YEREVAN (Tert.am)—During the international conference entitled “Breaking the Siege of Stepanakert: 25 years later” on Wednesday in Yerevan, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan recalled shelling of Stepanakert by Azerbaijani forces from Shushi and Khojaly.
“In fact, people could not even bury their relatives, waiting for fog. And few people were properly buried. People lived in basements,” Kocharyan said.
Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic citizens received aid by helicopters as the airport could not be operated.
“Flour was transported because of starvation there, and the wounded were transported to Armenia by helicopters,” he said.
With 60% of its territory, Stepanakert could break the blockade.
“Azerbaijan adopted a strong-arm policy and has since been pursuing it. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s recent statements are enough – that it is their domestic affair. That is, Azerbaijan continues its terrorist policy at a government level – a policy that was launched in Sumgait, Baku, Stepanakert and continued as atrocities committed last April.”
Kocharyan described Azerbaijan as a subject which, “despite negotiating ostensibly”, is ready to abandon any agreement and commitment, particularly the ceasefire signed in 1994 and 1995.
He said that despite the wide-ranging criticism (that Armenia cast shadow on its own sovereignty by signing the truce), the deal binds Azerbaijan to refrain from renewed hostilities.
“What the Madrid principles say is that a mutual solution must be a package which certainly implies a phase-by-phase process. But when we are confronting a state which readily abandons commitments, we understandably (also to the mediators) are dealing with a subject for which negotiations are but a veil to hold on to its policy of infringements,” Kocharyan added.
In his words, it is now time for the international mediators to take action to avert a renewed war. “Yet, reacting isn’t a guarantee that Azerbaijan will not trigger a war. We have one choice left, as Azerbaijan’s conduct increasingly demonstrates that there is no alternative to Nagorno-Karabakh’s recognition,” said the official.
Kocharyan said that “Bellicose statements of Azerbaijan shows that the international community is left with no option but to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh Republic,” reported Arka News Agency.
He said that Azerbaijan has chosen a policy of force and remains stuck to it; its president’s statements prove this.
Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev said that aggression against Karabakh in April 2016 and escalation of tension on the border between Karabakh and Azerbaijan‒also known as the Line of Contact‒is Azerbaijan’s internal matter.
According to Novosti-Armenia, Kocharyan said that Baku has not abandoned its policy of terror at a state level. “What began in Sumgait, Baku and Kirovabad repeated in April events, and the entire international community witnessed the atrocities Azerbaijanis] have committed in Karabakh,” he said.
Kocharyan stated that Baku imitates talks, bares no responsibility for the signed documents and is ready to renounce them, including the ceasefire agreement signed in 1994.
“Although the signing of this agreement by Armenia has ousted Karabakh [from talks], but has made it possible to raise it to the international level and has obliged Azerbaijan not to resume military actions,” the Deputy Foreign Minister said.