BY RASIM BABAYEV
Official Baku opposes the use of any type of chemical weapons and pesticides, adheres to the requirements of international legislation in this matter, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United Kingdom Tahir Tagizadeh said to Azeri Daily, commenting on the situation in the case of poisoning former GRU Colonel Sergey Skripal.
'Azerbaijan's principled position is in our extreme concern with any kind of reports about the use of chemical weapons, and its formation takes into account several factors, including the requirements of the international legal regime, international obligations of Baku as a full and responsible member of the world community and the national interests of our country itself,' said the head of the Azerbaijani diplomatic mission in London.
According to him, the process of the 'Skripal case' developed in several stages, 'and at the end of last week on this topic, among other things I had a conversation with our supervising department head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.'
'Azerbaijan's position has been clear from the very beginning. We wanted the competent international organisation OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons), of which the Republic of Azerbaijan is a member, to take an appropriate position, intensify its efforts. In particular, a statement from the representative of the Republic of Azerbaijan stressed the need for activisation of the director general of this organisation,' noted T. Tagizadeh.
The ambassador stressed that official Baku closely follows the development of the situation on this issue.
'Now a new situation has arisen to a certain extent, there is a new report from the British side, there is an appropriate OPCW position. Both are currently being considered in Baku, and, in any case, the position of Azerbaijan, as before, on these issues will always be principled and will be dictated by a number of circumstances, including Baku's obligations under relevant international conventions, Azerbaijan's membership in OPCW, the presence of new facts in the development of this situation. But the factor of national interests of the Republic of Azerbaijan remains a matter of principle for our country,' said the diplomat.
According to the ambassador, since its independence, Azerbaijan repeatedly became a potential and, in fact, a real target for the use of non-traditional types of weapons of mass destruction.
'I mean the potential threat that arises from the instability of the nuclear power plant in Metsamor, as well as the ecological and biological aspects of the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and the continuing fact of the Armenian aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan, including the situation around the Sarsang reservoir, the fire situation in the zone adjacent to the line of contact,' stressed T. Tagizadeh.