By Rashid Shirinov
Group of German parliamentarians, including Uwe Feiler, Olav Gutting, Dr. Hans Michelbach, Dr. Philipp Muhrmann and Norbert Schindler adopted the declaration on the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre on March 14.
The declaration, submitted to The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS), reads that the date of February 25–26 marks the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre, when 613 civilians were murdered by Armenian forces during the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. The victims comprised 106 women, 63 children and 70 elderly people.
The document also points to the fact that between 1988-1994, during the break-up of the Soviet Union, the conflict broke out over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"This was an Azerbaijani region, whose population comprised both ethnic Azerbaijanis and Armenians. However, as the Soviet Union disintegrated it was occupied by Armenian forces, resulting in the eviction of the Azerbaijani population, and claiming the lives of an estimated 30,000 people," reads the declaration.
The document notes that since 1993 the UN Security Council, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have all condemned the occupation and demanded an immediate withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces. In May 1994, a ceasefire was declared, and since then the OSCE Minsk Group has been tasked with negotiating a resolution to the conflict.
German MPs regard the situation in the South Caucasus, with the fierce tensions around Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent regions, as being very concerning both politically and economically. "The Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh violates all rules of international law," the MPs noted.
The MPs of the German Bundestag further demanded German Foreign Policy to intensify its efforts to reach a peaceful and sustainable solution in the South Caucasus.
"The resolutions of the international organizations have to be implemented. Not least for security and economic considerations, a peaceful solution will benefit Germany and Europe in the highest degree,” the declaration concludes.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.