No:278/23, Commentary on unfounded statements made by Ararat Mirzoyan, Foreign Minister of Armenia during a press conference with Leo Docherty, Minister of State for Europe of the United Kingdom
We strongly condemn the biased opinions once again voiced by Ararat Mirzoyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia during a press conference with Leo Docherty, Europe Minister of the United Kingdom dated May 22, 2023.
Repeated unfounded allegations by Armenia that establishment of the Lachin border checkpoint by Azerbaijan allegedly blocked the road, caused humanitarian problems in the region, created obstacles for the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as the allegations that this is an integral part of the alleged “policy of ethnic cleansing” are attempts to falsify the reality. It is well-known that Armenian residents, the ICRC, and the Russian peacekeeping contingent pass through the checkpoint in a transparent and regulated manner in both directions.
The United Kingdom, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is well aware of the almost 30-year-long occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan, the massacres and ethnic cleansing policy pursued by Armenia, as well as the fact that, contrary to the 4 UN Security Council resolutions, Armenia did not end the occupation and refused to withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan. Thus, Armenia must abandon its efforts to mislead the international community with its narratives.
At the same time, Armenia’s encouragement of the sending of international missions to the territory of Azerbaijan and hindrance of the dialogue of the government of Azerbaijan with Armenian residents living in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan is regarded as interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan. If Armenia stands for peace and tranquility in the region, it must end such interferences.
Regarding the claim of the presence of Armenian prisoners of war on the territory of Azerbaijan, it should be noted that Azerbaijan in many cases unilaterally returned prisoners of war captured during the war to Armenia. Coming to the group of Armenian servicemen sent by Armenia to commit military provocations on the territory of Azerbaijan after the war, it is known to the Armenian leadership that they are not prisoners of war. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan, in a show of goodwill returned almost half of this group to Armenia, Armenia refused to return 2 Azerbaijani servicemen who lost their way and passed into Armenia through a fabricated trial process, thereby undermining confidence-building efforts.
We call on Armenia to refrain from dangerous rhetoric that undermines the establishment of peace and security in the region and to fulfill its obligations instead of continuing to unreasonably accuse Azerbaijan and try to mislead the international community.