Statement of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia

11 August, 2021

In recent days the armed forces of Azerbaijan have intensified their provocative actions against the Armed Forces of Armenia and the armed units of the Defense Army of Artsakh. The civilian settlements of the Republic of Armenia and Artsakh have also been targeted. The Azerbaijani side is trying to cover up its aggressive actions by accusing the Armenian side of violating the November 9 statement on one hand, and by blatantly distorting the statement on the other.

Notably, the first provision of the November 9 statement clearly defines that the sides “shall remain at their current positions.” Meanwhile, a month after the signing of the Statement, the Azerbaijani armed units launched an attack on the villages of Hin Tagher and Khtsaberd in the Hadrut region of Artsakh, resulting in the occupation of those settlements, killing and capturing of the Armenian servicemen. Currently, the Azerbaijani side is also trying to occupy new positions in different parts on the line of contact, targeting Armenian positions with various weaponry, including UAVs.

The latest such incident took place today near the villages of Mkhitarashen and Shosh. The claim of the Azerbaijani side that the trilateral statement of November 9 stipulates the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh is an outright falsification.

In the current situation, the Defense Army of Artsakh, formed by the people of Artsakh in the 1990s, has been the main factor of security for the last 30 years, and today, together with the Russian peacekeepers, ensures the security and the right of the people of Artsakh to life. The people of Artsakh cannot survive in their historical homeland without the Defense Army, and the proposal of withdrawing the Defense Army from Artsakh is a proposal of expelling the Armenians of Artsakh.

The November 9 statement envisages the withdrawal of Armenian troops only from the adjacent territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, which are clearly identified in the statement. The Armenian side fully complied with these provisions of the statement, while Azerbaijan responded to this by infiltrating from the very same territories into the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia and illegally deploying thereon.

These encroachments against the Republic of Armenia since May 12 have resulted in human casualties and seriously endangered regional security.

We are convinced that the resumption of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, the full implementation of the November 9 and January 11 trilateral statements, the elimination of the consequences of those violations, including unconditionally maintaining the ceasefire, the withdrawal of the Azerbaijani armed forces from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, immediate repatriation of prisoners of war and civilian hostages may create conditions for strengthening regional peace and security.

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