WASHINGTON, July 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- On July 12, Armenia launched an unprovoked attack across the international border with Azerbaijan deliberately targeting civilian population in violation of international law and the existing cease-fire between the two countries. As a result, a number of civilian residents as well Azerbaijani servicemen were killed and injured. Armenian military continues indiscriminate shelling of Azerbaijani villages across the border with heavy artillery causing civilian casualties and destruction. The damage has been documented and represents another gross violation of international humanitarian law.
Armenia's attack aims specifically against densely populated residential areas along the international border rather than along the line of contact on Azerbaijan's territories illegally occupied by Armenia. By attacking the border, Armenia is attempting to expand the scope of the confrontation and to involve external actors and its Collective Security Treaty Organization allies. Moreover, Armenian Defense Ministry by publicly threatening to expand its military operations "to occupy new advantageous positions," reconfirms the inter-state nature of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and the responsibility of Armenia for the illegal occupation of Azerbaijan's territories.
The attacks occurred in close vicinity of the regional oil and gas pipelines, including the Southern Gas Corridor, which provides vital energy security for Europe.
Over the years, Armenia has been actively undermining the ongoing peace process led by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by France, Russia and U.S. While the international community is now focused on addressing the challenge of COVID-19, Armenia's hostilities follow the pattern of inflammatory statements and actions by its leaders, who continue to ignore international calls for substantive peace talks. The latest attack is another reckless effort by Armenia to derail peace.
On the other hand, Azerbaijan remains fully committed to the soonest peaceful settlement of the conflict in accordance with the norms and principles of the international law, including based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on the conflict.
The latest Armenian attacks underscore the urgency to end this protracted conflict and suffering of civilian victims. Armenia's belligerent actions and calls for violence by its leaders pose a serious threat to peace and security in the region, including Armenia itself.
We offer our condolences to the families of those killed and wish the soonest recovery to the injured by Armenia's aggression.
SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States