Reports recently disseminated by the Armenian side are a step aimed at disrupting the ongoing humanitarian operation, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense told APA on Monday.
The Armenian side earlier reported that it stands ready to return the dead bodies of the Azerbaijani servicemen.
“The dead bodies of the Azerbaijani servicemen are not in the hands of the Armenians. Their bodies remained on the territory controlled by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces,” the defense ministry said.
The presence there of international mediators is a step taken to prevent further bloodshed, according to the ministry.
“Such reports of the Armenian side as well as dissemination of this kind of information by some local websites are a step aimed at disrupting the ongoing humanitarian operation,” the ministry stressed.
The defense minister added that relevant measures are being taken together with the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross to recover from the battlefield the bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen Agshin Abdullayev, Shakhlar Nazarov, Tural Hashimli, Zulfi Gadimov and Zakir Jafarov who were killed while preventing provocations of the Armenian army along the contact line of troops on Feb. 24-25.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.