TODAY.AZ / Politics

Envoy: Armenia continues to deny Azerbaijani IDPs, refugees their natural right to return to their homes

12 July 2017 [11:00] - TODAY.AZ

A letter of response by Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to London Tahir Taghizade has been published by The Economist magazine.

The letter says: “I appreciate that your article highlighted the suffering of those affected by the bloody conflict in Syria and also mentioned attempts by the Armenian government to resettle ethnic Syrian Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and other military occupied territories of Azerbaijan (“Syria’s Armenians are fleeing to their ancestral homeland”, June 26th). It goes without saying that this policy runs contrary to the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Conventions.”

“Clearly, the Armenian government, under the pretext of rendering humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict in Syria, pursues its well-documented policy of the resettlement of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories. This policy aims at deliberately changing the demographic landscape of the territories under Armenian military occupation and sadly does nothing but huge harm to the international efforts to settle peacefully the long-standing conflict in the South Caucasus.”

According to the letter: “One would expect the Armenian government to show the same attitude to the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons who have been forced to flee their homeland as a result of the Armenian aggression. It is regretful that while showing sympathy towards Syrian Armenians, Armenia continues to deny Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons their natural right to return to their homes.

No one doubts humanitarian dimension of the conflict in Syria, yet it is regretful that sometimes it is used to advance narrow-minded political purposes,” The letter concludes.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region 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. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.

The Minsk Group, the activities of which have become known as the Minsk Process, spearheads the OSCE's efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is co-chaired by France, the Russian Federation, and the United States. Although the OSCE Minsk Group deals with the issue for over two decades, its activities have brought no breakthrough results so far.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/163088.html

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