Azerbaijan Reaffirms Stance on Kashmir, Expresses Concern Over India-Armenia Defense Ties

HongKong – Dec 21 2023

By: Safak Costu

In an emphatic statement, Ashraf Shikhaliev, the former Azerbaijani ambassador to India, reiterated Azerbaijan’s unwavering position on the long-standing Kashmir issue. Shikhaliev stressed the need for a peaceful resolution, in accordance with international law and the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. This stance, he underscored, has not wavered in the last 30 years.

Shikhaliev also shed light on the burgeoning defense ties between India and Armenia. He noted that since 2020, Indian state and private defense companies have started supplying Armenia with weapons. The arsenal includes radar systems, multiple rocket launch systems (MRLS), and ammunition. Media reports suggest Armenia’s interest in purchasing missiles and drones from India. These revelations have sparked a wave of concern.

Shikhaliev expressed apprehension that the sale of weapons to Armenia by the Indian government could potentially fuel revanchist forces in Yerevan. The added instability could jeopardize the already fragile peace in the region. He urged the Indian government to reconsider its arms sales to Armenia, cautioning about the potential aftermath.

On another front, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, criticized the European Union’s role in the normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. She accused the EU of having a primary objective of taking an anti-Russian stance, rather than settling and normalizing relations between the two nations or addressing the consequences of the longstanding crisis. She also questioned the sudden appearance and disappearance of Azerbaijan and Armenia from the EU’s list of countries supporting the extension of the European Magnitsky List.