Azerbaijani FM says Armenia must answer for war crimes

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov gave an interview to the French Le Point magazine, the Foreign Ministry said.

The FM answered questions regarding the trilateral statement, the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the region, France's position, the fate of Christian monuments in the region, Turkey's role in the conflict, guarantees of peaceful coexistence in Nagorno-Karabakh, and other topics.

The minister stressed that it will take time to implement the November 9 trilateral statement based on the UN Security Council resolutions. The statement envisages not only a ceasefire but also a number of important steps leading to peace.

“The main element of the statement is the withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the three occupied districts by December 1. Fulfilling this requirement will make it possible to assess Armenia's commitment to the peace process. Healing the wounds created by decades of war won’t be easy and will take time. The main thing is to stop all hostilities and take measures to establish peace in the region. We want a peaceful settlement of the conflict. Only by ending the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and ensuring the return of Azerbaijani IDPs to their homes in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions can lasting peace and security be established in the region,” Bayramov said.

Touching upon the topic of Russian peacekeepers, the Azerbaijani FM stressed that since the start of Azerbaijan's counter-offensive operation on September 27, the ceasefire regime was agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan three times, and each time this regime was violated by Armenia.

“Thus, it became clear that military forces were needed to comply with the ceasefire. The Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed on the territory of sovereign Azerbaijan at the invitation of Azerbaijan and in line with the provisions of the trilateral statement. Russia is the only co-chair of the Minsk Group bordering the South Caucasus and is therefore directly interested in peace and stability in the region. There is no doubt that from the point of view of relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan, this country can play a decisive role in the implementation of the agreement also signed by the President of Russia,” Bayramov said.

Answering a journalist's question about whether the Minsk Group became useless if the two Western co-chairs, France and the US, didn’t participate in the ceasefire agreement, the Azerbaijani FM didn’t consider the Minsk Group useless.


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