YEREVAN, July 30. /ARKA/. In an interview with an Israeli daily Jerusalem Post Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said the recent violence by Azerbaijan against Armenia didn’t happen in a vacuum.
He said on the eve of the escalation Azerbaijan at the level of highest political-military leadership had been consistently voicing threats of war, territorial and historic claims against Armenia, coupled with very vocal dissatisfaction of the work of the international mediators – the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
‘It was the second attempt of Azerbaijan to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict exclusively on their terms. The recent escalation demonstrated that show of force by Azerbaijan and its perceived military advantage dramatically failed and we have a clear case of miscalculation,’ he said when answering a question about what Azerbaijan was trying to achieve,’ Mnatsakanyan said.
Asked whether Armenia was prepared for a ceasefire Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said unlike Azerbaijan Armenia agreed to all proposals of the international mediators to strengthen the ceasefire by putting on the ground more monitors and introducing investigative mechanisms into ceasefire violations.
‘Armenia continues to advocate those and other measures to reduce risks of escalation,’ he added.
Asked whether Armenia conveyed its concerns about sale of Israeli drones and missiles to Azerbaijan to Israeli authorities Mnatsakanyan said arms trade to Azerbaijan is fatal, because Azerbaijan never hesitates to use those weapons against civilian infrastructure, the civilian population.
‘We will consistently pursue this issue, it will always be an integral part of our agenda both on bilateral and multilateral platforms. Israel should stop this deadly business with Azerbaijan,’ Mnatsakanyan said.
Asked about Armenia’s reported success in shooting down Israeli-made drones during the recent fighting Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said for Armenia those weapons are deadly as they kill Armenian people.
‘Our military has neutralized Azerbaijani weapons regardless of their perceived origins. Facts about weaponry obtained by Azerbaijan and used against civilian infrastructure and population of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are numerous and the July events serve as an additional proof,’ he said.
In response to a question about Israeli’s refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by a nation who survived the horrors of the Holocaust is a moral issue.
‘It’s on your conscience. I know that many Jews – public personalities, intellectuals and ordinary people – strongly share this point of view. However, it is up to the authorities of Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide or refrain from doing it. It’s not only about Armenia but Israel as well,’ he said.
In 2017, Israel and Azerbaijan signed an agreement for the supply of weapons worth $1.6 billion. In addition to drones, Israel supplies Azerbaijan, in particular, with radars, anti-tank missiles, grenade launchers and night vision devices.