On 14 July, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) published its decision to unanimously reject Armenia’s request for Azerbaijan “to “[w]ithdraw any and all personnel deployed on or along the Lachin Corridor since 23 April 2023 and refrain from deploying any such personnel on or along the Lachin Corridor”. Armenia had made a request for the Court to modify its February 2023 Order in May this year. The request was rejected unanimously by the 15 ICJ judges.
See the statement issued by Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Foreign Minister Elnur Mammadov welcoming the Court’s and stating that “Azerbaijan has a right to control its own borders. The ICJ rejected Armenia’s request to issue an order that would deny our country an inherent aspect of our sovereignty. The below request by Armenia was unanimously rejected. The best response to Armenia’s falsehoods.”
Some key points from the Court’s order are:
- Armenia’s attempts to spin the Court’s decision into a “win” and “reaffirmation” of its position is a profound misstatement -“Affirmation” of the Court’s prior order does not suggest that the Court credits Armenia’s position. To the contrary, the Court rejected Armenia’s requested measure that would have required closing the Border Checkpoint. [paragraph 29]
- Armenia’s obstructive conduct is why the Court in its 6 July Order has also reaffirmed its previous 7 December 2021 Order that both parties shall refrain from any action which might aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court or make it more difficult to resolve.
- The Court also made clear in the Order itself that it is “without prejudice as to any finding on the merits concerning” both Parties’ compliance with its Order of 22 February 2023. [paragraph 32]
Since the Border Checkpoint was established at the end of April 2023, at least 1,927 Armenian residents have travelled through the checkpoint between Armenia and Karabakh and more than a hundred cargo vehicles have passed through in each direction, to provide residents with essential goods, food, and necessary medical services and supplies.
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