Azerbaijan offers aid through the Aghdam-Khankandi road to meet the needs of the Armenian residents of Karabakh (Op-Ed)

by Naghi Ahmadov

On August 29, Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society sent humanitarian aid from Baku to meet the needs of Armenians living in Karabakh. There are 40 tons of flour in the humanitarian aid convoy on the Aghdam-Khankendi road. Currently, negotiations are being continued for the delivery of aid to the Armenians living in Karabakh. The representatives of the diplomatic corps, military attachés accredited in Azerbaijan, as well as foreign journalists visited the Aghdam-Khankendi road, where they inspected the food cargo distribution point of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society on August 31.

Recall that Armenia is spreading false propaganda saying that as if Azerbaijan threatens by starvation as blocks delivery of food, fuel, medicine and other essential, and Armenians stand on the edge of a veritable humanitarian catastrophe. Apparently, Baku does not retreat and takes a principled position against the pressure campaign of the international pro-Armenian political circles.

Encouraging to note that Azerbaijan managed to turn the manipulative steps of Armenia against itself. In particular, Azerbaijan’s unequivocal behavior within the framework of international legal norms ensures political-diplomatic failure of the other side. It is interesting that the Armenian residents who live in Khankendi and surrounding region of Azerbaijan has reached a dead end by the humanitarian aid of  40 tons of flour sent by Azerbaijan. Because until now, Azerbaijan was accused of blocking the Karabakh region, where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily deployed. But now it is clear that this accusation is nothing but political manipulation.

In any case, after rejection of this humanitarian aid the discourse of Armenia about “blockade” or “mass starvation” will not seem convincing to anyone. On the contrary, Azerbaijan’s move has once again proved that all these are nothing more than self-blockade. It is obvious that Armenian separatists have been selling lies not only to the whole world, but also for local Aremenians for a long time.

Furthermore, if the Armenians in Karabakh are really hungry, then it would not care how and by whom the food is sent there instead of building barricades on the road to block the food convoy sent from Baku. So, the main goal of this political show they set up is precisely to gain the opportunity to carry weapons and ammunition without supervision from the Lachin road. And this means now the whole world has seen that the “humanitarian disaster” claims are nothing but an Armenian fabrication.

Therefore, by refusing to accept the food sent by Azerbaijan they have created a moral dilemma for themselves. Consequently, by blocking the food convoy led by the Red Crescent Armenia shows that she is seriously worried about the possibility of opening the Aghdam-Khankendi road. Stated differently, it tries to be an obstacle to the reintegration of the Armenian minority of Karabakh into the Azerbaijani society.

However, these scenarios cannot stand in front of the processes of reintegration that will definetly happen sooner or later. Armenians who accept the reality of the fact that Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan, obey the Constitution and accept the citizenship of Azerbaijan will continue to live peacefully in Karabakh.

According to the Assistant to President of Azerbaijan-Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev, after the opening of the route through Aghdam the Lachin road will also be opened within 24 hours. “The more roads, the better for everyone,” Hajiyev said. He added that Azerbaijan the factor of territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan is very important in the matter of opening the road to Lachin. At the same time, these should be ensured by fully complying with the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan and relevant laws related to border control and border security in this regard, as well as the rules of the customs regime. Before that the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Jeyhun Bayramov said that the creation of the Lachin border crossing was aimed at preventing illegal actions. Although the Armenian side has repeatedly committed provocations there, Baku still creates conditions for the Armenian residents of the Karabakh region to cross the border.

To put it briefly, Azerbaijan is ready to supply the Armenians living in Khankendi with food and essentials, transporting them along the Aghdam-Khankendi road. In parallel, from another standpoint, the fact is that Azerbaijan settled the 30-year-old problem by military means and restored its territorial integrity. The establishment of the border crossing checkpoint in Lachin was the last stage of that process. By creating this checkpoint, Baku has closed the borders of Azerbaijan within the framework of international legal norms. Nobody can change this reality.

Naghi Ahmadov, a senior fellow at the Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), exclusively for News.Az

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