Azerbaijan Schedules Military Parade in Stepanakert Tomorrow
Azerbaijan demanded what it called eight “occupied” villages from Armenia, issuing an ultimatum to Yerevan and accusing the government there of hindering the peace process. At the same time Baku announced that Azerbaijani forces will conduct military drill is occupied Stepanakert on Wednesday.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry accused Armenia of “once again hindering peace agreement negotiations, continuing military-political provocations, as well as threats from landmines.”
“Armenia has chosen the path of continuing to threaten the peace process, lives of our citizens, restoration and reconstruction work carried out in the region,” the foreign ministry said.
“At the same time, despite its obligations, not only Armenia has not withdrawn its armed forces, which remain the main threat to peace and security in the region, it continues to support them financially, and has not refrained from the illegal transfer of weapons, military equipment, landmines to the territories of Azerbaijan,” Baku said, according to the APA news agency.
“Armenia also is refusing to hand over eight Azerbaijani villages, which are still under occupation,” the Azerbaijani foreign ministry said.
The issue of the so-called eight villages was raised earlier this summer by Baku, but garnered more attention when President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan complained to the President of the Council of Europe Charles Michel in a telephone conversation after failing to attend a meeting in Spain organized the by the EU leader.
While official Baku has not specified which eight villages it is referencing, Aliyev’s website has listed them as seven villages in Armenia’s Tavush Province and one village in the Ararat Province, that borders Nakhichevan.
Last month, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan touched on Baku’s claims about the eight villages in Armenia, by reminding Azerbaijan that the Armenian region of Artsvashen, once part of Armenia’s Gegharkunik Province, continued to remain occupied by Azerbaijan since the 1990s.
Presumably, Azerbaijani forces are launching their incessant attacks on villages and positions in Gegharkunik from Arstvashen.
Azerbaijan continued to provoke the situation by announcing that its armed forces will hold a military “victory” parade in Stepanakert on Wednesday to coincide with the November 9 national holiday, which marks the end of the brutal 2020 war in Artsakh, APA reported.
A similar parade is scheduled to be held in Baku.