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Armenia Files Suit Against Azerbaijan at World Court 


FILE - Exterior view of the Peace Palace housing the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Feb. 17, 2020.

Armenia filed a case at the world court asserting that Azerbaijan has violated an international treaty on racial discrimination, the court said Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Azerbaijan would defend itself "robustly" and planned to file a countersuit accusing Armenia of the same thing.

FILE - An image from a video made available on the official website of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on Sept. 28, 2020, allegedly shows Azeri troops conducting a combat operation during clashes between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.
FILE - An image from a video made available on the official website of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on Sept. 28, 2020, allegedly shows Azeri troops conducting a combat operation during clashes between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In fighting last September to November, Azeri troops drove ethnic Armenian forces out of swaths of territory they had controlled since the 1990s in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region, before Russia brokered a cease-fire.

In the filing, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of subjecting Armenians to racial discrimination "for decades" in violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, to which both states are signatories, the court said.

FILE - Ethnic Armenian soldiers sit in a military truck on a road during the withdrawal of troops from the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Nov. 19, 2020.
FILE - Ethnic Armenian soldiers sit in a military truck on a road during the withdrawal of troops from the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Nov. 19, 2020.

Since the November 10 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has "continued to engage in the murder, torture and other abuse of Armenian prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons," the court cited the suit as saying.

"Armenia therefore requests the Court to hold Azerbaijan responsible for its violations ... to prevent future harm, and to redress the harm that has already been caused,” it said.

The Azerbaijan spokesperson said that the country had been compiling evidence of Armenian human rights abuses against Azerbaijanis and that it would file its own suit at the court in "days."

The world court, formally known as the International Court of Justice, is the U.N. court for resolving disputes between countries. The court has yet to determine whether it has jurisdiction in this case.

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