Reports on the involvement by Azerbaijan of foreign fighters and mercenaries affiliated with various terrorist and extremist organizations in the aggression against the Republic of Artsakh are receiving documentary evidence, the Artsakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
According to numerous reports, including from various independent sources, Turkey has recruited several thousand foreign fighters and mercenaries in Middle East countries and through its territory has been transferring them to Azerbaijan for direct participation in hostilities against the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia. Some of them have already taken part in the battles against the Artsakh Defense Army and suffered losses.
“The methods used by Azerbaijan and Turkey that are inherent to rogue countries, pose a serious security threat not only to the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia, but also to all countries of the region and the international order as a whole. We recall that during the war of 1991-1994, Azerbaijan also resorted to the help of foreign fighters and mercenaries. However, this did not help Azerbaijan to avoid a military defeat,” the Ministry said.
“Involvement of foreign fighters and mercenaries in the conflict zone was the main factor that contributed to the transformation of Azerbaijan in the mid and late 1990s into a transit country for smuggling of drugs to Russia and Europe, as well as a transit point for terrorists, where the organization and financing of their terrorist activities was carried out. In order to avoid a repetition of such a scenario, the international community must take decisive steps right now,” it added.
In this regard, the Ministry noted that the use, recruitment, financing, protection and training of foreign fighters and mercenaries is prohibited by numerous international legal norms, which are binding, including for Azerbaijan and Turkey. Moreover, realizing the importance of collective fight against the activities of foreign fighters and mercenaries, the international community obliges states to prevent and suppress such practices.
“Neglecting the elementary rules of international co-existence, deliberately and systematically violating their own commitments, pursuing a criminal line in their foreign policy, Azerbaijan and Turkey not only openly oppose themselves to the world community, but also directly threaten its security,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
“We emphasize that in the current situation, when the calls of the international community for peace are not only rejected, but also subjected to harsh criticism from the political leadership of both Turkey and Azerbaijan, the shortest path to restoring peace and stability in the region is the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh,” the Ministry stated.