Baku. Anakhanum Hidayatova – APA. Famous British newspaper “Huffing Post” has published an article “Khojaly - More Than Just an Airport”. APA reports that the article covers the Nagorno Karabakh problem and occupation of 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia.
“Despite four UN Security Council Resolutions, Armenia has steadfastly refused to end its military occupation of the territory or allow hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees to return home. While the peace talks under the auspices of the OSCE continue, there have recently been suggestions that the Armenian authorities in the breakaway region plan to re-open the airport at Khojaly, just outside the region's capital of Khankendi. At first glance this might not appear to be a hugely provocative move. However, most experts suggest that the potential opening violates international law, including several provisions of the Chicago Convention - in particular, articles 1, 2, 5, 6, 10-16, 24 and 68. Legally, Khojaly airport cannot operate, as unauthorised flights through Azerbaijani airspace are not permitted without that government's sanction, and any violations could have unpredictable consequences. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a specialized UN agency, is also strongly supportive of Azerbaijan on this issue. But leaving all the legal implications aside, such a step could only undermine precisely what the international community is working hard for - slow and steady progress through peace talks and confidence building measures. So it is not surprising that the international reaction to the proposed re-opening was unequivocal in its condemnation.”
The author Chris Pincher underlines how important Azerbaijan is to Europe's energy security, especially in the wake of the infamous Russo-Ukrainian gas rows. Should these latest tensions spiral into full-scale conflict, the consequences will be felt not just by the Caucasus region, but by the whole of Europe. And as we live in a world of complex economic interconnections, those consequences could easily wash up on British shores.
The author also spoke about Khojaly genocide: “There is, however, another reason why Azerbaijan feels hurt at Armenia's plans. The airport in question is located at the site of the most notorious massacre in the 1988-1994 conflict when, on the 26th February 1992, 613 civilians of the town of Khojaly were massacred by Armenian forces. No one disputes the right of civilians to free movement. But surely the right time to start talking about re-opening the airport is once the hostilities are over, and when the people who were expelled from their homes and who currently languish in displaced person camps are given the chance to return to their homes. Only then can normality, and freedom, return to this troubled region.”