POLITICS


AZERTAC addresses heads of agencies holding membership in international news agencies

Baku, October 10, AZERTAC

Azerbaijan State News Agency (AZERTAC) has addressed the heads of news agencies, including News Agencies World Congress (NAWC), the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA), the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA) and a number of other partner agencies calling them for an objective and impartial coverage of Armenia's military aggression against Azerbaijan and the events in the region.

The address says: “As you already know, as a result of a provocation by the Armenian armed forces, the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan has escalated. Prior to that, the armed formations of Armenia tried several times to destabilize the situation and violate the peace. Earlier in July, Armenian armed forces attacked the positions of the Azerbaijani army and residential areas in Tovuz district of Azerbaijan, more than 170 miles away from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, and later in August sent an armed expeditionary group to execute sabotage within Azerbaijan proper. These infiltrations were debunked by the Azerbaijani army. That, however, predicated what you might currently be seeing in the headlines for the past two weeks.

On September 27, the detachments of Armenian armed forces illegally deployed to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, violated the ceasefire regime once again and launched a full-scale offensive by shelling the positions of the Azerbaijani armed forces along the Line of Contact and residential areas beyond the front line. By now, more than 30 civilians have been killed in indiscriminate shelling of Azerbaijani cities and villages. Under the decisive measures taken by the Commander-in-Chief, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani Army launched a counter-offensive and as a result, is liberating internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan.

As you all know, Armenia waged an undeclared war against Azerbaijan in 1988-1994 and took control of more than 20% of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno- Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts adjacent to it. In the process, the Armenian army ethnically cleansed the region from all of its Azerbaijani population. On the occupied territories it annexed, Yerevan created an illegitimate puppet regime called "Artsakh Republic", which is not recognized by any country or organization.

The UN Security Council passed four resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 in 1993, all condemning Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, demanding the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of all occupying forces, return of Azerbaijani IDPs and reestablishment of peace. The position of the international community was reiterated in the Resolution 1416 of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe adopted on January 25, 2005, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243 adopted on March 14, 2008, both reaffirming "continued respect and support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Azerbaijan "within its internationally recognized borders", demanding the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijan. It is important to note that, as many as 750,000 Azerbaijani civilians were forced out by the Armenian troops.

Azerbaijan’s counter-offensive is in line with international law. Baku is recovering its internationally recognized territories by executing the four UN Security Council resolutions that Armenia consistently ignored; as a UN member-state, exercising its right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter and enforcing the provisions of the principle of territorial integrity, compliant under Article 8 of the Helsinki Final Act. The Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that the civilian Armenian population in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh will receive all rights and privileges of the citizens of Republic of Azerbaijan as soon as the territorial integrity of our country is restored.

In the international media, we have been witnessing an increased amount of unfairness in coverage of the Armenia-Azerbaijan war. Some leading media outlets have relied on ‘fake news’ generated by the Armenian Ministry of Defense rather that inquiring with both sides and vetting the information before publishing. Among such disproven reports are the allegations of the Armenian MOD that Turkey is fighting on the side of Azerbaijan, or that Turkish F-16 supposedly shot down an Armenian SU-25 in Armenian airspace and the like. Furthermore, some news agencies, without any evidence whatsoever and based solely on hearsay, alleged that some Syrian mercenaries are fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh on the side of Azerbaijan. President Ilham Aliyev has consistently stated that, as the most powerful army in South Caucasus with twice as many technical and human resources as Armenian, high-tech and high-precision military equipment, Azerbaijan does not need any mercenaries.

As AZERTAC News Agency, we stand ready to respond to any queries for information and facilitate your communication with Azerbaijani officials. As the member of News Agencies World Council, OANA/EANA/UNA, AZERTAC believes that the partner agencies will continue to be guided by principles of journalism and not allow fake news related to hostilities and tensions in the region to appear in their news feed. We sincerely hope that the conflict will be resolved in earliest times and peace and prosperity will be restored in our region. As always, Azerbaijan stands for peace and harmony.”

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