(Exclusive Interview By Dr Shahid Qureshi, Chief Editor):-
In the background of the recent elections held in the Occupied Nagorno Karabakh by the Armenian Government we conducted an exclusive interview with H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minster Foreign Affairs, Republic of Azerbaijan. He was born July 2, 1960. He is on his current position since 2004. He speaks Russian, English, Azerbaijani, and Turkish.We asked him following questions:
Armenian Government held elections in the occupied Nagorno Karabakh Territories, what is your reaction?
Obviously, against the background of continuing military occupation and ethnic cleansing of the territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia, the holding of “elections” in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan constitutes a clear violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the norms and principles of international law, including the UN Charter, CSCE Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and the related UN Security Council Resolutions and, therefore, shall have no legal effect whatsoever. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry released a statement on the “elections” staged by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and declared that elections in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan may be held only within the Constitutional framework of the Republic of Azerbaijan and full participation of the entire population of the region. Such elections will be possible only after the withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces, return of the expelled Azerbaijani population to their places of origin, and restoration of dialogue and cooperation between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the region.
What steps are you expecting from international community apart from regrets and condemnations?
The international community has consistently deplored in the strongest terms the use of military force against Azerbaijan and the resulting occupation of its territories. In 1993, the United Nations Security Council adopted 4 resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884), condemning the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and reaffirming respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders. In those resolutions, the Security Council also confirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an integral part of Azerbaijan, and demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
As in previous cases, this time again the international community firmly rejected the so-called “elections” in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and declared them illegitimate. Here we should mention such international organizations as the Non-Aligned Movement, OIC, EU, NATO, Turkic Council, GUAM, TURKPA, and the others, also the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as the numerous states which came up with the separate statements.
Well, of course, the condemnation of these illegal actions is not enough; acting according to these statements, or with other words realization of the resolutions adopted by international organizations with regard to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is essential. This is what Azerbaijan is striving for and this is what needed to provide lasting peace, security and stability in the region.
Will you take this matter to the international forums like EU parliament, UNSC as well as International court?
As i have already mentioned, the international community, primarily the UNSC in its related resolutions condemned the occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan and demanded the withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The European Parliament in its relevant resolutions reiterates that the occupation by one country of the Eastern Partnership of the territory of another state violates the fundamental principles and objectives of the Eastern Partnership. In its resolution of October 23, 2013 the EP emphasized that the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should comply with UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of 1993 and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Basic Principles. Other international organizations have adopted a similar position. So, the legal basis of the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is quite solid.
Based on the norms and principles of international law, as well as the mentioned unequivocal position of the international community that Azerbaijan participates already more than two decades in peace negotiations. What we would like to achieve is peace and prosperity in our region, and the only way to provide the long-awaited peace is possible after the elimination of the consequences of the conflict, withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and return of the displaced Azerbaijani population to their homes.
Should Azerbaijan Supreme Court declare these elections illegal as it as ASC legal jurisdiction over the occupied territories?
In general, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and relevant legislation of the country, it is the Constitutional Court that approves the results of the elections. In case of the so-called “elections” in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan the violations of the Constitution and laws of the country is so obvious that Constitutional Court did not even take it for consideration.
What actions you expect from UK, EU, Russia and USA?
Well, the two states among those that you have mentioned, Russia and USA, together with France are the co-chair states of the OSCE Minsk Group, the states that are mediating the peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The United Kingdom and the European Union are also interested in the earliest peaceful settlement of the conflict. The expectation of Azerbaijan from the key players and important actors of the international relations is of course about implementation of the UN Security Council demands.
Today deliberate actions are being carried out in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan with a view to changing their demographic, cultural and physical character. Such actions, including the so-called “elections”, constitute a clear violation of norms of international law and relevant international conventions. It is clear that such policy and practices can in no way be reconciled with the objectives of achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict, thus necessitating the urgent action by the wider international community, including the states that you have mentioned, for defending the values, norms and principles of the rules-based inter-State relations, as enshrined in the UN Charter.
By the way, UK Foreign Office has also formally rejected conducting the so-called elections in Nagorno-Krabakh and the UK Embassy in Baku publicly reacted as follows: “The UK does not recognize the Presidential ‘elections’ in Nagorno-Karabakh, the second round of which is taking place on April 14. The UK again underlines its support for the OSCE Minsk Group and the Co-chairs’ role in the peace process. We support the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence of Azerbaijan while underlining the importance of universally recognized principles and norms of international law. We encourage Azerbaijan and Armenia to accelerate efforts to build confidence and achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
I thank you for your time Minister.
Disclaimer – Views expressed are not of The London Post