The reply to the interview given by Ambassador Hambardzumyan
“Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that we are faced with a historic opportunity and that there are no obstacles to us signing a peace treaty. However, we have serious doubts that Armenia is serious about signing it due to the “uncooperative attitude that he continues to demonstrate: if in words he states that he wants to reach an agreement, the facts demonstrate otherwise”. This was stated by the ambassador of Azerbaijan in Rome, Rashad Aslanov, in a reply sent to Adnkronos to the interview given by the Armenian ambassador, Tsovinar Hambardzumyan, who had underlined that the southern Caucasus “needs peace, but lacks the political will on the part of the Azerbaijani leadership and respect for the agreements reached”.
“I agree with the ambassador that the Southern Caucasus needs peace, and for this reason on 11 September my country handed over to Armenia the fifth version of a peace agreement and has been waiting, for more than two months, for the Armenian response to this document”, continues Aslanov, reiterating how “the entity called Nagorno-Karabakh no longer exists”, but “the economic region of Karabakh, and any different definition is perceived as a failure to respect the territorial sovereignty of Azerbaijan”.
“At the same time, we strongly condemn and reject allegations that Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan have been subjected to ‘ethnic cleansing’,” adds the ambassador, countering his counterpart and declaring that “Armenia, who violated the fundamental rights of one million Azerbaijanis for almost 30 years of aggressive policy – committing indiscriminate and unprecedented genocide and massacres against Azerbaijanis, including children, women and the elderly – has no moral right to accuse Azerbaijan of ‘ ethnic cleansing’ “.
“It is well known that the transfer of Armenian residents of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan to Armenia took place on the basis of individual decisions and has nothing to do with forced displacement. We remind once again that such unfounded accusations clearly contradict the reports and statements of representatives of specialized UN agencies who visited the region, as well as those actively operating in Armenia,” Aslanov continues.
According to the ambassador, Azerbaijan immediately prepared economic, administrative and social measures to welcome back Armenian residents “in complete safety at any time, guaranteeing for them the same rights that exist for all Azerbaijani citizens, including the right to use of one’s own language and to the profession of one’s faith, unlike what Armenia has shown towards the community of Western Azerbaijan, with which any dialogue is refused”.
“I believe that it is not useful for Armenia to dwell on falsehoods and misinterpretations of reality, but we should focus on the objective that should be common and which is a priority for my country: building real peace and a feasible and advantageous coexistence in the Caucasus southern”, concludes the diplomat.