Armenia is responsible for the death of Azerbaijani border guards who were protecting the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan over the past few weeks, Spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend.

Abdullayeva said in her response to a question regarding the statement made by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on March 10, in which Azerbaijan was accused of aggravation of the situation on the state border with Armenia and a threat to peace and security in the region.

“First of all, let’s clarify who makes such statements,” Abdullayeva said. “These statements are made by the foreign ministry of the aggressor country that occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding districts of Azerbaijan and carried out bloody ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in these territories.”

“We once again bring to the attention of the Armenian side that the current status quo that occurred as a result of using force and ethnic cleansing is not connected with the concept of security,” the spokesperson said. “The occupied Azerbaijani territories and the presence of the Armenian armed forces there are the source of the main threat to Azerbaijan’s security. Azerbaijan has always stood for universality and indivisibility of the concept of security.”

“The withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, as well as further living of the Armenian and Azerbaijani population of the region together in peace and the rule of law, are the determinants for creating trust and rapprochement for the sake of ensuring the general security and prosperity of the region,” Abdullayeva said.

“The Armenian side must correctly recognize the existing reality and comply with the requirements of the international community for the complete, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, the return of local Azerbaijanis to their homes, as it is required upon the resolutions of the UN Security Council and other international organizations,” the spokesperson said. “Let no one doubt: Azerbaijan will restore justice and its own territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders.”

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.