Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: EU needs political courage to condemn Armenian aggression

The European Union (EU) must evaluate the facts and the fact that we have - it's aggression, and it should be judged just as aggression, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev told reporters on Saturday, commenting on statements by EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Philippe Lefort in Yerevan.

He said political courage is required to condemn Armenian aggression and to call for the restoration of violated rights of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs. And the political courage of the EU would be manifested in this, Abdullayev added.

"The fact that the EU representative calls updated Madrid principles means to resolve conflict is positively evaluated. We also accept this approach as a fundamental, and the position of Azerbaijan rests in the fact that the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories will create opportunities for cooperation in the region," Abdullayev said.

As stated in the updated Madrid principles, the withdrawal of Armenian forces from occupied Azerbaijani territories, return of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to historical lands, as well as the restoration of communications will create new opportunities for the development of the region, Foreign Ministry spokesman noted.


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"In turn, the EU as one of the most influential and largest organizations must demonstrate its fair position. So, as the EU representative said, the reason that prevents the development and integration of the region, is a destructive approach of Armenia to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The fact that the Armenian government does not demonstrate the political will and determination to resolve the conflict, is now the biggest obstacle in solving the problem," he said.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict hinders the development and integration of the region, Lefort said in Yerevan.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.