Baku, October 18, AZERTAC
Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev has been interviewed by Al Jazeera TV channel on Armenia’s latest provocations against Azerbaijan and the missile attacks on the country’s second largest city of Ganja.
AZERTAC presents the interview.
-Armenia says that its missiles don’t have a range to hit Ganja. What is your response to that?
-It is completely immoral denial by Armenian political-military leadership. Armenian armed forces since October 4 have been attacking Azerbaijan’s biggest cities including the Ganja city of Azerbaijan. This is not for the first time they attacked in deliberate and indiscriminate manner Azerbaijani civilians. They are using SCUD tactical ballistic missiles. The same SCUD missiles used by Saddam Hussein to kill the civilians. Ganja city over in the morning during the sleeping time of people came under the attack of SCUD missile and particularly densely residential area of Ganja city of Azerbaijan. And the sole purpose of Armenian side was to cause panic and also kill as much as civilians possible.
-But just hours earlier Azerbaijan shelled Stepanakert.
-Absolutely it is not a truth. First, the name of the city is Khankandi. Armenian side occupied it and renamed it Stepanakert. Azerbaijan is not targeting and my President also in his appeal to Azerbaijani people, reiterated that we are not fighting with civilians. That is the difference between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan only uses precision-guided ammunitions and missiles against the legitimate military targets completely different between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But this is completely contrary from Armenian side and Ganja is one of the examples of that. Within this SCUD attack they have killed 13 Azerbaijani civilians and more than 40 people have been seriously wounded. And just a week earlier they again killed 11 Azerbaijani civilians and also wounded more than 30. This is a deliberate act of vandalism and an act of terror, and it is also a war crime. And all liability lies on the political-military leadership of Armenia.
-What now for international attempts to end this conflict. I mean it can’t go on like this can it?
- Exactly, there was a humanitarian truce. But where is a humanitarian truce? Armenia in a deliberate manner destroys all the humanitarian truce. Immediate aftermath of this humanitarian truce, they attacked Ganja city of Azerbaijan with SCUD missile last week. And again they continue to attack Azerbaijani civilians. But where is the humanitarian truce? How can we have a confidence in Armenian side that they will not attack and kill Azerbaijani civilians again? And also Ganja is geographically far away from the theatre of military operations. There was no military necessity to attack Ganja city and particularly its civilians. Under such circumstances where can we move? And also silence of the international community and lack of a serious condemnation, and strongest condemnation of Armenia’s illegal actions and also war crimes raises Armenia’s sense of impunity. Therefore we expect that international community should seriously condemn it and also urge Armenia to stop such provocations and end its military occupation. These fact on the ground once again proves that Armenia is a single source of threat to wider regional peace and security, to the lives of civilians.