By Rashid Shirinov
The interview of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in the Russian newspaper Izvestia titled “Security and sustainable democratic development” should have been called “War, military dictatorship and socio-economic stagnation,” said Hikmat Hajiyev, the spokesman to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
Hajiyev, commenting on the article, said that Armenia is in self-isolation and political, socio-economic and demographic crisis due to the policy and military adventure of the current Armenian authorities.
“Unlike the Armenian leadership, the real statistical data and reports of international institutions clearly show the deplorable state of this country,” the spokesman told Trend on March 14.
He noted that over the past eight years of Sargsyan’s presidency, Armenia's external debt increased by more than 300 percent and now accounts for over 50 percent of GDP.
“The excess of external debt over real income of Armenia means approach of the country to a complete default. International financial institutions have repeatedly expressed their concern over this,” Hajiyev noted.
The spokesman added that although Armenia says that the level of poverty is 32 percent, in fact this figure exceeds 50 percent. Moreover, despite the funds borrowed from abroad, there is no sustainable development in the country, while it lacks economic base and structure.
Hajiyev added that unlike the populist statements of the Armenian leadership, the real economic situation in this country does not inspire optimism.
In the same way the Armenian leadership distorts issues on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the spokesperson said.
“International documents and the international community say one thing about the conflict and the leadership of Armenia says another. The head of the state that carried out occupation, aggression and bloody ethnic cleansing has no political, legal and moral right to speak on behalf of the international community and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,” Hajiyev stressed.
The spokesman added that if Armenia is really interested in resolving the conflict in accordance with the will of the international community, then it needs to provide immediate, unconditional and complete withdrawal of its troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories, which is demanded in the UN Security Council resolutions.
However, Armenia does not allow substantive negotiations, continues military and political provocations, and by all means tries to maintain the status quo, which is based on occupation, he added.
“Instead of deceiving the Armenian people and the international community, it would be better if the Armenian leadership has engaged in real settlement of the conflict and would demonstrate a constructive political will,” Hajiyev concluded.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.