Written by Elsevar Salmanov, the Counselor of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Malaysia, the article says: “All military response operations carried out by Azerbaijan after the Tripartite Declaration signed on Nov 10, 2020, especially the 44-Day Patriotic War that ended the occupation of Armenia on Azerbaijani territory, and most recently the local anti-terrorist operation on Sept 19, are fully qualified as “Peace Enforcement Measures” in terms of international law.
As a result of these military measures, we have come one step closer to the demands of international law. Our approach according to the law is the right way.
If it is right, then it is also “good”. Who is feeling the discomfort if something is right and good?
Azerbaijan’s measures on Sept 19 were not a surprise. It is the result of Azerbaijan’s repeated warnings over three years.
Article 4 of the tripartite declaration signed in 2020 stipulated that illegal armed Armenian groups and Armenian military units in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan should leave the territory.
This process should have taken place in parallel with the inclusion of the temporary Russian peacekeeping force, which came to the region with the permission of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani side provided the opportunity for Russian peacekeeping force for the safe integration of the ethnic Armenians in the country.
As a result of the Sept 19 measures, illegally armed Armenian groups in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan suffered serious losses and agreed to lay down their weapons and surrender after 23 hours of the operations.
During the military operations, care was taken to ensure that civilians were not harmed. Armenian Prime Minister, N. Pashinyan confirms this.
Upon Azerbaijan’s offer, representatives of the Armenian minority (those who were not involved in criminal cases and had no gang connections) agreed to meet in Yevlakh, Azerbaijan, on Sept 21, 2023.
I would like to remind readers that previous offers made by the Azerbaijan government were rejected.
At the meeting, the demands of the Constitution of Azerbaijan and relevant legal legislation were explained to the representatives of the Armenian minority.
It has been stated that Azerbaijan is not a mono-ethnic country like Armenia, and that peaceful coexistence can be achieved like other ethnic minorities in Azerbaijan.
It was guaranteed that all their constitutional rights, especially their security, would be ensured, and it was announced that the amnesty law could be considered.
The second meeting was held in a constructive environment in Khojaly, Azerbaijan on Sept 25, 2023. After all these meetings, satisfaction with the assistance provided by Azerbaijan was expressed.
It was then decided that a third meeting would be held under the chairmanship of the Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Shahin Mustafayev, and the establishment of mobile field hospitals in the region.
It was also decided to review the visits of representatives of non-governmental organisations of the Armenian minority to other regions of Azerbaijan for dialogue purposes.
But, despite the attempts by Azerbaijan to create an environment of peace and dialogue, the publishing of “ethnic cleansing” news in line with the instructions of some Western governments about those who did not choose to live in Azerbaijan and immigrated voluntarily is found.
In this context, the following expression is frequently used: “Karabakh region, which belongs to Azerbaijan at the international level, but the majority of which are Armenians”.
If that’s the case, why are the following questions not asked:
1. Didn’t Azerbaijanis live there before, why has this region been mono-ethnic for 30 years?
2. What happened to the fundamental rights of the local Azerbaijani people who were subjected to ethnic cleansing, massacres, and forced to migrate as a result of the Armenian occupation?
3. Who embezzled their private property?
4. Aren’t the overwhelming majority of those who left Azerbaijan in a hurry today the ones who embezzled private properties in the 1990s?
5. Aren’t those who left Azerbaijan in a hurry now those who illegally immigrated to Azerbaijan during the Armenian occupation period?
Can we talk about the Khojaly, Bashlibel, Aghdaban, Garadaghlı and Ballikaya massacres?
Can we also talk about the issue of over 250,000 Azerbaijanis expelled from the territory of current Armenia? Do we need to say who is the master of ethnic cleansing?
Azerbaijan is trying to solve the problem within the framework of international law and historical facts.
It takes concrete steps and carries out projects to make the South Caucasus region an area of peace, cooperation and prosperity.
This “opportunity” is slowly disappearing from the hands of those who have no geographical connection with the South Caucasus region and who see the continuation of the problems as an opportunity/tool to intervene in the region.
The real problem is losing their opportunity or tool, not “ethnic cleansing”.
The attempts of those who have tried with all their resources, including those in the UN Security Council, to continue the habits inherited from their colonial past, have not and will not yield any results.
In the end, those in the ‘good’ and ‘right’ corner will win.”