Azerbaijani Politics 16 july — 23:12

President Aliyev's special representative about crime against Azerbaijan on border with Georgia

827

Special Representative of the President of Azerbaijan on border and Caspian Sea issues Khalaf Khalafov gave an interview to Azerbaijan State News Agency in connection with the incident committed by a group of Georgian citizens against Azerbaijani border guards.

Q. As is well know, two days ago, a group of people, violating the state border of Azerbaijan on the territory of the Keshikchidag cave complex, crossing from the territory of Georgia, attacked Azerbaijani border guards, insulted them and, using force, took away arms and ammunition. What can you say about this?

A. Yes, unfortunately, on 14 July, a group of people carried out a provocation against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and criminal actions in relation to the border guards detachment guarding state borders. I suppose that this incident is not connected with the government of Georgia, but the Georgian border guards are responsible for the fact that their inaction allowed these provocateurs and criminal elements to enter the territory of Azerbaijan. Of course, such provocations and incidents strike a blow to friendship, good-neighbourly relations and strategic partnership established between the two countries. Those who have committed this crime must be brought to justice and punished in accordance with the requirements of the laws.

Q. To this day, various opinions were voiced about the Keshikchidag cave complex. We ask you to comment on this.

A. Any religious-cultural or any other non-legal fact cannot be the basis for the delimitation of state borders. All legal documents of the territory embracing the Keshikchidag cave complex, the actual use of this territory indicate that this territory has always belonged to Azerbaijan. At the same time, as far back as 1963, this was reflected in topographic maps approved by the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR, and before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the parties accepted them as an administrative boundary between them. Therefore, from the point of view of law, there can be no question of any dispute or claim regarding this territory. At the same time, the coordination of this section, as well as other uncoordinated areas, must occur in the process of border delimitation, in the border agreement signed by the two countries.

Q. What activities are planned for the next stage of the commissions' work?

A. I regret to note that there were long breaks in the work of the commissions of Azerbaijan and Georgia. The reason for these breaks was the frequent change of partners. The Azerbaijani side has always made efforts to ensure that the work of these commissions was consistent and long-lasting. At the 12th meeting of the Commission on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border between Azerbaijan and Georgia, which took place on 23-24 May in Baku, an agreement was reached on conducting a joint inspection of the uncoordinated parts of the border and carrying out appropriate measurement work in the second half of August. The next meeting of the commissions is planned to be held in Georgia.

Latest news