Armenia accuses Baku of "ethnic cleansing"

Armenia accuses Baku of "ethnic cleansing"
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Conflicting narratives emerge from both nations amid renewed hostilities in the contested region.

On September 19, Nagorno-Karabakh became the epicenter of renewed hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Both nations have presented contrasting narratives, further intensifying the longstanding territorial dispute. As Azerbaijan seeks to oust Armenian armed units from the region, Armenia counters by accusing Baku of attempts at "ethnic cleansing".

Azerbaijan points to "Armenian aggression"

In a series of statements from its Defence and Foreign Ministries, Azerbaijan alleges that the Armenian military initiated provocations and terrorist attacks in Nagorno-Karabakh, leading to numerous casualties. In response, Azerbaijani forces have launched anti-terror operations to curb further impulses.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of jeopardizing normalization processes and disregarding proposals aimed at de-escalation. They also criticize Armenia for what they deem as provocative undertakings, such as holding "presidential elections" within Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan contends that Armenia has been blocking essential transport routes, downplaying the humanitarian aspects of the crisis and asserting that Armenia's resistance stems from political motives.

Moreover, Azerbaijan charges Armenia with unlawfully stationing over 10,000 troops equipped with advanced weaponry in Nagorno-Karabakh. They claim this action directly breaches previous ceasefire agreements. Adding to the list of grievances, Azerbaijan alleges that Armenia is enhancing its military infrastructure along the mutual border.

The only way to achieve peace and stability in the region is the unconditional and complete withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, and the release of the so-called regime, states the announcement of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan.

Armenia refutes allegations

On the other side, Armenia firmly denies Azerbaijan's claims of Armenian-initiated aggression on September 19, emphasizing the stability of its borders.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry has expressed concern, suggesting that Azerbaijan's recent diplomatic efforts hint at an underlying intention of ethnic cleansing and amplifying military tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia challenges Azerbaijan's assertion that it is neglecting peace proposals.

Furthermore, Armenia stresses that its assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh is primarily humanitarian. They attribute the ongoing humanitarian crisis to Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin corridor.

Countering Azerbaijani accusations, Armenia asserts that the blockade isn't about preventing the transport of military supplies, mainly when the pipelines in question only facilitate the transfer of gas and electricity. Armenia also reiterates its dedication to prior peace agreements and is concerned about Azerbaijan's apparent reluctance to do the same.

Emphasizing the importance of dialogue, Armenia calls for direct talks between Baku and Stepanakert and seeks international assistance to instate reliable dialogue mechanisms. The clashing narratives from both sides highlight the fragile situation, with concerns that the skirmishes could escalate into a full-blown conflict.