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Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society responds to Armenian Red Cross Society

25 August 2023 [15:10] - TODAY.AZ

The biased reaction of the Armenian Red Cross Society (ArRCS) to the statement of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society (AzRCS) caused us great regret. The desire of the Azerbaijani Red Crescent Society, which is based on the principle of humanism, is to deliver humanitarian aid to the Armenian minority living in the Garabagh economic region. Therefore, the inadequate reaction of the Armenian Red Cross Society is incomprehensible. Contrary to the statements of the Armenian Red Cross Society, the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan fully adheres to the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, namely neutrality, impartiality, and unity without any political intentions, in accordance with the Charter of the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan, the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan "On the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan", the Geneva Conventions and the Seville Agreement. Making a statement and expressing a position of readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to persons in need is fully in line with our mandate and does not contradict the principles of the Movement. This action does not undermine the principles and values of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement; on the contrary, it serves humanity. With this statement, in accordance with the Seville Agreement, we reaffirmed our readiness to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need along the Aghdam-Khankendi route. I wonder what law is violated by this? On the other hand, the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan has the full right to carry out any humanitarian mission on the entire territory of the republic, including the Garabagh region, for which there is no need to obtain permission from anyone.

With regard to the position of the Armenian Red Cross Society on Vagif Khachatryan, we feel obliged to note that V. Khachatryan is responsible for his direct participation in war crimes and for the brutal murder of innocent civilians - children, women, and elderly people in the village of Mesheli in Khojaly region in 1991. It is regrettable that the Armenian Red Cross Society supports such a terrorist and murderous criminal, which is completely contrary to the Geneva Conventions.

The opinions expressed by the Armenian Red Cross Society regarding the Lachin road do not reflect reality. Our observations give every right to assert that there is no "humanitarian crisis" in the region. If such a situation existed, the Armenian Red Cross Society would welcome this good intention of ours, and the International Committee of the Red Cross could ensure the delivery of aid along the Aghdam-Khankendi route. The voicing of unfounded statements serves to create confusion in society.

With regard to the reference to the judgment of the International Court of Justice in the statement of the Armenian Red Cross Society, the establishment of the Lachin border checkpoint by the Republic of Azerbaijan serves to protect its sovereign rights within its own borders. Currently, persons of Armenian nationality travel freely from Khankendi to Armenia and back. There are no restrictions here. In their interviews, these persons have repeatedly expressed their satisfaction.

The response letter of the Armenian Red Cross Society is suspicious to us, as it shows that it is interfering in politics contrary to the humanitarian principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and may become a tool in the hands of the Government of Armenia. The statement of the Armenian Red Cross Society also causes us regret and surprise. As it has never made a statement or taken a position on the occupation by the Armenian armed forces of 20 percent of the lands of Azerbaijan for 30 years, the presence of one million refugees and internally displaced persons from both Armenia and the Garabagh economic region of Azerbaijan, the extermination of thousands of people, the destruction of historical, cultural and religious monuments, the non-implementation by Armenia of UN Security Council Resolutions No. 822, No. 853, No. 874 and No. 884 adopted in 1993.

We advise the Armenian Red Cross Society to be more precise and responsible in its written statements, and opinions, respecting neutrality and impartiality, not to become a tool in the hands of politicians and not to get involved in political processes and adventures. The Armenian Red Cross Society should once again carefully read the statement of the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan. In this case, they would not allow unverified and inaccurate preconceived notions and would not unfairly accuse the opposite side. We repeat once again that in this statement the aim of the AzRCS was to show its readiness to provide urgent and timely humanitarian assistance to those who really need it. This is directly related to our mission.

It is puzzling that the Armenian Red Cross Society expresses an opinion on issues related to the territory of another sovereign State. These issues do not belong to their mandate and mission. Moreover, it is a gross interference in the affairs of another national society. It would be appropriate for the ArRCS to focus its efforts on humanitarian issues on its own territory.

In accordance with Articles 5.1, 5.3, and 5.4 of the Seville Agreement, we confirm that, based on the operational plans and capacities of the Movement, the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society plays a central role in the creation and implementation of the Movement's collective response. According to the Agreement, the International Committee of the Red Cross does not have exclusive rights within the Republic of Azerbaijan. The issue of humanitarian operations in the area of temporary stay of Russian peacekeepers is not within the competence of the ICRC. These operations are the responsibility of the Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society and must be conducted in coordination with it.

As part of our humanitarian mission, we have consistently engaged in discussions and consultations with our partners, namely, the regional and local offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. We reiterate that we will always remain faithful to the fundamental principles and humanitarian values of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society reiterates that, unlike the Red Cross Society of Armenia, we do not participate in politics and political processes. We support the principles laid down in our Charter and remain committed to international humanitarian values. We adhere to Azerbaijani legislation, and the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and in accordance with the Seville Agreement, we express our readiness to promptly deliver any humanitarian aid to the residents of the Garabagh economic zone on the Aghdam-Khankendi route. The Azerbaijan Red Crescent Society once again emphasizes its unwavering commitment to the fundamental principles and humanitarian values of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/society/238190.html

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