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"Azerbaijan's strategy is aimed at deepening enmity" Prime Minister to the UK delegation

Politics

13 February, 19:48

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received the delegation led by Sir John Whittingdale, a member of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament. The Prime Minister welcomed the UK parliamentarians' visit to Armenia and referred to the Azerbaijani escalation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

"Mr. Whittingdale, I welcome you and your delegation to our country. Unfortunately, your visit coincided with a new escalation on the border with Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan initiated a new provocation, as a result of which four Armenian soldiers were killed.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated action. we continuously see a series of Azerbaijani provocations. According to our assessment, this is Azerbaijan's policy aimed at disrupting the peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan by all possible means. This is also evidenced by the aggressive rhetoric of the official representatives of Azerbaijan, spiced with open territorial ambitions towards Armenia.

Obviously, the strategy of the Azerbaijani government is aimed at deepening hostility in our region, which is a very disturbing fact.

But despite all these facts, our government is committed to the peace process, because our belief is that the peace process has no alternative. Of course, we should do everything to achieve concrete results in the peace process, and we are doing it. But unfortunately, it is not possible to do this without the political will of the other side. And today's incident that claimed the lives of four soldiers testifies not only to the lack of political will for peace but also to Azerbaijan's intentions to deepen the enmity and military escalation.

This is evidenced by the events that took place yesterday and today. The Azerbaijani press published information yesterday evening, according to which, during today's incident, the guard of the Armenian position opened fire in the direction of the Azerbaijani positions. Immediately after that, the Military Police of Armenia announced that an investigation was started on the basis of this information, because there is a very strict order from the Ministry of Defense of Armenia not to provoke any escalation, not to give in to provocations.

And that was a very clear message from Armenia, and the press release of the Military Police clearly stated that if that fact is proven, it would mean a violation of the order with legal consequences. But despite that, early this morning, Azerbaijan started a local but large-scale shooting with the use of ATS, and as I mentioned, unfortunately, four servicemen were killed.

The issue is not even the incident caused by the Azerbaijani media last night, because we have a very long and complicated border and if someone is looking for an excuse to escalate, to abort the peace process, they will always find it, even if it is in the form of media publications. "Unfortunately, we continuously see this practice on the part of Azerbaijan," Prime Minister Pashinyan said.

Referring to the relations between Armenia and the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister noted with satisfaction that there has been a new dynamic in relations in recent years. Nikol Pashinyan expressed hope that this dynamic will not only continue, but will rise to a new level of relations.

Sir John Whittingdale expressed his condolences and support to the families of those who died as a result of Azerbaijan's military operation and to the Armenian people. At the same time, he expressed concern about the military operations and emphasized the need to implement steps aimed at strengthening peace and stability.

The interlocutors discussed several issues related to Armenia-United Kingdom multilateral cooperation and the strengthening of inter-parliamentary ties.

Reference was made to the democratic reforms implemented in Armenia, the steps taken by the RA government to fight against corruption, and the issues related to the processes taking place in the Caucasus.

UK parliamentarians also referred to the capabilities of the RA government in solving the humanitarian problems of more than 100,000 forcibly displaced people from Nagorno Karabakh. Support from the international community was also highlighted.

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