Baku, September 20, AZERTAC
A Contact Group on the Aggression of the Republic of Armenia Against the Republic of Azerbaijan, which was established within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has held its first meeting on the sidelines of the 71st Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 71).
The meeting was chaired by OIC Secretary-General Iyad bin Amin Madani. The Contact Group includes seven states – Turkey, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, Gambia and Djibouti.
Azerbaijani FM Elmar Mammadyarov addressed the event.
He provided an insight into the history of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. FM Mammadyarov said that Armenia unleashed the war and used force against Azerbaijan, occupied almost one fifth of its territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts, carried out ethnic cleansing of the seized areas by expelling about one million Azerbaijanis from their homes and committed other serious crimes during the conflict.
He drew the audience's attention to the fact that international community has consistently condemned the use of military force against Azerbaijan and the resulting occupation of its territories. "The UN Security Council adopted resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993), condemning the use of force against Azerbaijan and occupation of its territories and reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognized borders. In those resolutions, the Security Council reaffirmed that the Nagorno-Karabakh region is part of Azerbaijan and demanded the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan."
"Since the eruption of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, OIC, on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, has explicitly determined the actions of Armenia on the territory of Azerbaijan as aggression and condemned in the strongest possible terms the use of force against Azerbaijan and the occupation of its territories," FM Mammadyarov added.
"Twenty-four years have past since the beginning of the armed conflict. However, in total disregard of the demands of UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, decisions of OIC and other international organizations and positions of individual States, and in flagrant violation of the generally accepted norms and principles of international law, Armenia continues to unlawfully occupy the territories of Azerbaijan."
The Azerbaijani FM underlined that Armenia continued “to undertake efforts aimed at further consolidating the current status quo of the occupation, strengthening its military build-up in the seized territories, changing their demographic, cultural and physical character and preventing the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani forcibly displaced persons from returning to their homes and properties in those areas.”
Elmar Mammadyarov also provided an insight into the regular ceasefire violations, attacks on the towns and villages in Azerbaijan situated along the line of contact by the armed forces of Armenia, saying the border between the two countries have become more violent in recent times, resulting in the killing and injuring of many Azerbaijani civilians. "Most recently, Armenia conducted large-scale attacks against the civilian population of Azerbaijan in early April of this year," he said.
"Armenia must realize that relying on the status quo and armed provocations is a grave miscalculation. Azerbaijan expects from Armenia to halt its military build-up in occupied territories, and engage in negotiations with Azerbaijan in good faith so as to find a political solution to the conflict, which is long overdue. The sooner Armenia withdraws its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the better it is for the regional security," FM Mammadyarov added.
Elmar Mammadyarov said: “The establishment of the OIC Contact Group and its effective functioning was of pivotal importance, considering the urgent need for more concerted efforts to force Armenia to comply with its international obligations and the persistent calls of the OIC to its Member States and the international community to use such effective political and economic measures in order to put an end to the Armenian aggression and occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan.” He expressed his confidence that the deliberations within this Contact Group would contribute to the implementation of the relevant OIC resolutions and help to harmonize the individual and joint efforts of the OIC Member States to this end.