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Hikmat Hajiyev: First phase of the operation to force Armenia to peace has been successfully completed

Hikmat Hajiyev

“As a result of the counter-offensive launched in response to Armenia’s provocation and the targeting of the civilian population of Azerbaijan, the Armenian armed forces suffered a serious blow for 10 days,” Assistant to the Azerbaijani President, Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev said, AZERTAC reports.

The presidential assistant said: “The developments of the past year have shown that Armenia has become completely unbridled and considered the occupation of Azerbaijani territories to be over. The statement of Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan that “Karabakh is Armenia, full stop” was also calculated for this. The occupation-based status quo remained in place. Armenia used all opportunities to annex the territories. Settlement was carried out in Jabrayil district where Armenians had never lived before.

Despite the blow it suffered in the fighting in April 2016, Armenia’s political and military leadership was still trying to portray itself as a victor.

Under the leadership of the Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev, these military-strategic illusions of Armenia have been shattered. During the 10-day military operation, the key command centers of the Armenian armed forces, military infrastructure, ammunition and logistics, military hardware, expensive radio-electronic and air defense systems and combat military units have been destroyed. Armenia had built this military infrastructure at a cost of billions over a period of 30 years. Armenia concentrated a large amount of weaponry and military equipment in a geographically small area. Figuratively speaking, every square meter of land is under fire. There are many natural obstacles. The vast majority of this Armenian military equipment was destroyed in a short time. The military operations dealt a very serious blow to the Armenian economy. Armenia’s political, diplomatic, military and economic resistance has been broken for a long time.

From a military point of view, the status quo has been changed. There is no longer a line of contact. Armenia was trying to turn the line of contact into a state border. The first stage of the operation to force Armenia to peace has been successfully completed. Jabrayil district and Sugovushan village, which is of great strategic importance, have been liberated from occupation. Hadrut settlement and surrounding villages included in the administrative-territorial unit of Nagorno-Karabakh have been liberated from occupation. All this is also a great psychological blow to Armenia.”

Hikmat Hajiyev also noted that conflicts are resolved not only by military but also by political and diplomatic means. In order to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the basis of Azerbaijan’s interests, military-political and diplomatic activities must be carried out effectively and carefully.

“From a political point of view, Armenia’s dictation of the conditions in the process of negotiations and attempts to reinforce the consequences of the occupation by political means have been prevented. Armenia’s attempts to change the format of the negotiations have failed. The Armenian prime minister was putting forward a condition that the so-called regime should take part in the negotiations.

The participation of the Armenian foreign minister and the Azerbaijani foreign minister in the talks in Moscow and the adoption of a statement on a humanitarian ceasefire reaffirms Armenia’s role as a party to the conflict. Armenia has always distorted the 1994 ceasefire document the way it understood it.

A statement issued in Moscow declared a temporary ceasefire on humanitarian grounds. There is experience in declaring a humanitarian ceasefire during military operations. During this period, the bodies of servicemen killed on the battlefield are removed and assistance is provided to the wounded.

A ceasefire, especially a humanitarian ceasefire, is not and cannot imply a comprehensive peace. Substantive talks must begin immediately after the declaration of a humanitarian ceasefire.

Despite the declaration of a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds, the Armenian armed forces continue to violate the ceasefire along various fronts. If Armenia tries to re-occupy the liberated territories, it will receive a well-deserved response again.

Immediate and effective negotiations must be held immediately after the humanitarian ceasefire. The roadmap for the negotiations is known to everyone. Azerbaijan is ready for this. Pursuant to the mandate of UN Security Council Resolution No. 853, a withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be ensured. The current situation must be directed towards a comprehensive settlement of the conflict and lasting peace in the region.

What happened shows again that tensions can flare up at any moment. All resources should be focused on ending the occupation and withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. After that, lasting peace can be built in the region.”

About Fidan Abdullayeva