Statement by Hikmat Hajiev, Spokesperson, Head of Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As stated by the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on February 25 at midnight, the armed forces of Armenia made an attempt to penetrate into the positions of the armed forces of Azerbaijan with the aim of conducting large-scale provocation on the frontline and trying to seize advantageous positions in Khojavand-Fizuli direction of the front.

The escalation of the situation in the front and perpetration of military provocations are continuation of Armenia’s political provocations as holding of illegal “referendum” in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan on February 20, 2017. The political and military provocations of Armenia are aimed at deliberate escalation of the situation and undermining the efforts for solution of conflict via the substantive talks, diverting the attention of the international community in the eve of Khojaly genocide from the responsibilities borne by Armenia for Khojaly and strengthening already lost social support base and position of Armenia’s ruling regime in forthcoming parliamentary elections in Armenia.

Azerbaijani side has repeatedly emphasized that the illegal presence of armed forces of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan remains the prime reason for the escalation of the situation. The events occurred in April last year proved it over again. The international community and particularly the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs at the Heads of State level on many occasions stated that the status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable and it must be changed.

With a view of preventing the escalation of situation and changing the status of quo of occupation and ensuring sustainable peace in the region, full and unconditional withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan has to be provided based on the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

Instigator of the escalation of situation in the front is Armenia and thereby, all responsibility falls on political-military leadership of Armenia.

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