Baku, July 23, AZERTAC
Today marks 27th anniversary of the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district by Armenian armed forces.
Armenian invaders occupied the major part of the Aghdam district on July 23, 1993, seizing around 882 sq km of 1,094 sq km territory of Aghdam, one city and 80 villages.
As a result of the aggression, a large part of the Aghdam district, the total area of which is 1154 sq. km, where 138 settlements are located, was occupied and the population there was subjected to ethnic cleansing. Armenia inflicted significant damage to the state and private property of the region. Because of the occupation, 122 settlements, 24,446 residential buildings, 48 industrial and construction enterprises, 160 school buildings, 65 health centers, 373 cultural infrastructure facilities, 1 theater, etc. were destroyed. Six thousand residents of the district were killed during the fighting for the defense of Aghdam. Currently, more than 153,000 people from 200,000 inhabitants of the district live in various parts of Azerbaijan as internally displaced persons.
A significant part of the many historical monuments located in the occupied territories were destroyed, artificially changed in appearance and subjected to illegal archaeological excavations.
The world community expressed its unanimous position regarding the occupation of Aghdam. At the statement regarding this case the 9 member countries of the CSCE Minsk Group, "strongly condemned the offensive on" and asked "for withdrawal from the occupied territories". On July 29, 1993, the UN Security Council adopted resolution No. 853. It also demanded "the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from the district of Aghdam and all other recently occupied areas of the Republic of Azerbaijan." However, Armenia has evaded to fulfill its obligations.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries 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 districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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