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Baku Renews Threats to Shoot Down NKR Civilian Aircraft

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STEPANAKERT, NKR—Azerbaijan renewed its threats to shoot down civilian aircraft that carry out flights between Armenia and the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR) without its permission.

The Azerbaijani State Civil Aviation Administration said that the planned Yerevan-Stepanakert flights would constitute an ‘invasion’ of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized airspace and that ‘taking corresponding measures in connection with that is inevitable.’

Authorities in Baku warned of “corresponding measures” on July 16, just days after international mediators discussed the matter during their latest tour of the Karabagh conflict zone.

In a statement issued on Fri., July 13, the U.S., Russian, and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group said they “received renewed assurances from the sides that they will reject any threat or use of force against civil aircraft, pursue the matter through diplomatic steps, and refrain from politicizing the issue.”

“The co-chairs reaffirmed that operation of this airport cannot be used to support any claim of a change in the status of Nagorno-Karabagh, and urged the sides to act in accordance with international law and consistent with current practice for flights over their territory,” the statement added without elaborating.

The Azerbaijani State Civil Aviation Administration said that the planned Yerevan-Stepanakert flights would constitute an “invasion” of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized airspace and that “taking corresponding measures in connection with that is inevitable.”

“According to international norms, Azerbaijan has sovereign rights to its airspace,” a spokesman for the government body told the APA news agency. “Those who enter that airspace without permission shall be considered to have breached the air borders.”

The Azerbaijani government first voiced such threats, in more explicit terms, early last year when authorities in Karabagh announced the upcoming reconstruction of the territory’s sole airport located near Stepanakert, the capital. Baku seemed to have backed away from such threats in April 2011 after being criticized by mediating powers.

The launch of the first commercial flights to and from Karabagh in two decades has been repeatedly postponed since then, even though the airport’s reconstruction was essentially completed by the end of 2011. A newly established Karabagh airline reportedly acquired two aircraft for Yerevan-Stepanakert flights earlier this year. An official in Stepanakert told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) last month that the flight service is likely to be launched before the end of this summer.

7 Comments on Baku Renews Threats to Shoot Down NKR Civilian Aircraft

  1. avatar gaytzag palandjian // July 18, 2012 at 10:41 am // Reply

    I think it is time to tell these people off,like one Armenian general couple yrs ago did.If any such attack is attenmpted on the Armenian civil Aircracft…
    General´s preemptive Blitzkrieg strike should be implemented.For these people*the azeris,as well as their elder borther great Turkey know full well,we are not as yet there,but we shall be there soon enough to take care of both these turco azeri campaigns(for these are propagandist war rhetoric bla blas…)
    but if they dare attack the Armenian Airline above should go into effect immediately. Waht´s more big brother great turkey knows full well that Dioaspor Armenians have not as yet re organized around a NATIONAL INVDESTMENT TRUST FUND(my theory) ONCE THIS IS DONE WITH BILLIONS OF DOLLRAS POURING IN WE CAN BUTY THE BEST OF……
    and employ training of same on time to COUNTER ACT THEIR ATTACKS!!!

  2. Just you try aliyevistan & prove your point that you are a terrorist country. Terrorists only shoot civilian airplanes. Remember the drone that was shot down with a hunting gun?

  3. Again someone please tell me why the Armenian authorities are having any negotiations with this clearly war mongering, war losing, cease fire asking, border encroaching, violent racist country?

    STOP ALL NEGOTIATION NOW. DECLARE KARABAGH AN INDEPENDENT STATE. KEEP ALL THE TERRITORIES LIBERATED AND CALL IT A DAY.. AND TELL THE AZERI’S THAT IF THEY WANT TO RESUME WAR THEN BE PREPARED TO LOSE MORE TERRITORY AND EXPECT REGIME CHANGE.

    • you said it right John… I am too very confused as to WHY in the world Armenians still have the mind and patience to speak to those criminal idiots…. it is clear they ARE NOT going to keep peace…they are always going to push the envelop.. and the other two losers are going to sit back and move their index finger side to side and say.. no no no Azerbajian.. stop playing nasty.. but that is the end of it…

  4. Shooting down civilian airplanes is a terrorist action, that is why USA fights against this kind of terrorist action
    Azerbaijan should be recognized as one

    • if US wakes up from their natalgic dream or lets say state of mind and finally sees truly what Azerbaboons are.. maybe just maybe they will .. but i don’t see that happening anytime soon.. US is under forever spell of those monsters…

  5. I think John and Gayane are on to something. To gain a small negotiating advantage, Armenia should announce with precise orchestration, that it suspending discussions directly with Azerbaijan because the continuously demonstrated lack of good faith ( ie racist comments, border infringements, airport threats etc) . At some point the OSCE will “convince ” Armenia back to the table but at times you need to give message to re-set the table. It’s time.

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