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Azerbaijan's second objection attempts to exclude some of Armenia's claims regarding violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Pierre D'argent, a professor of international law, stated this at Tuesday’s verbal hearing on the Armenia vs. Azerbaijan lawsuit at the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Specifically, the demands regarding the arbitrary imprisonment of ethnic Armenians, Armenia's claims regarding the forced disappearances of ethnic Armenians, and Armenia's claims regarding various acts of violence against ethnic Armenians. The position of Azerbaijan in this regard apparently changed during the proceedings. The question, however, is whether the position has really changed, as it is difficult to know what exactly has changed in that position. First of all, Azerbaijan claimed that the acts of physical violence against ethnic Armenians, regardless of whether they were soldiers or civilians, should not be included in the material scope of the aforesaid convention, especially when these acts were carried out by its armed forces. On April 5, Azerbaijan announced that it no longer objected to the ICJ's jurisdiction over the claims related to the ill-treatment of ethnic Armenian civilians during the armed conflict, or at the same time maintained its objection to the other claims of Armenia under the said convention to the alleged instances of ill-treatment of civilians during the stage of active operations of the armed conflict, and that in connection with them, Armenia has allegedly not presented evidence to substantiate that they are based on ethnic or national torture. Azerbaijan maintained its objection that the claims of ill-treatment by the Armenian armed forces referred to the phase of the armed conflict, D'argent noted.

According to him, the objections submitted by Azerbaijan were vague. The conflict between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenians when they lived in Nagorno-Karabakh had a clear ethnic origin and format. The representative of Azerbaijan admitted yesterday that the conflict presented to the ICJ is an "ethnic conflict," so this conflict is not an ordinary interstate fight, contrary to Azerbaijan's contradictory and out-of-context interpretations, claiming that within the framework of this conflict there are manifestations of particularly brutal violence, which seem to have nothing to do with the ethnic origin of the victims. This conflict is an ethnic conflict because for three decades, under the grounds of “territorial integrity,” Azerbaijan refused to accept the self-determination of the ethnic Armenians living in the land of their historical ancestors in Nagorno-Karabakh and brutally put an end to that situation. The president of Azerbaijan called it a war of liberation or a patriotic war, and these actions included many selective violations against ethnic Armenians, including in the context of combat operations. As a result of the war, Nagorno-Karabakh was completely ethnically cleansed, disregarding the ICJ's decisions. Azerbaijan's goal was to remove ethnic Armenians from their homeland, D'argent said.

And referring to the matter in question, regarding the applicability of the aforementioned convention, the professor of international law said that the persons were targeted for being Armenians, and not on other grounds provided for by the said convention. Azerbaijan's refusal to see evidence of discrimination makes pretrial negotiations between the parties inevitable, noted Professor Pierre D'argent.

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