POLITICS


Elchin Ahmadov: Armenia's efforts to ensure recognition of illegal regime in Nagorno-Karabakh run contrary to international law

Baku, November 29, AZERTAC

“Some of the recently made statements by the Armenian leadership on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict do not reflect the historical reality and the true essence of the dispute. Armenia`s illegal actions in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, particularly the organization of the illegal visits to the occupied lands, the events held just to create an illusion, the policy of resettlement and deliberate change of the demographic composition, the looting of the material and cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people cause serious concern,” Chairman of the Coordination Council of “Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno-Karabakh Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, doctor of political science, professor Elchin Ahmadov has told AZERTAC.

“The main purpose of the Armenian leadership is undoubtedly to present the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians as a party to the conflict in order to avoid the responsibility for occupation and military aggression. In this regard, the speeches of the person who is acting as Armenian prime minister at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and at recent Paris Peace Forum as well as dramatization of the events marking the 30th anniversary of the so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" serve this purpose and run completely contrary to the norms and principles of international law.”

“First of all it is important to note that during the Soviet era (1920-1991) the Armenian community living in the mountainous part of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan enjoyed autonomy (Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast - NKAO) covering all political, economic, social and cultural issues. So it is worthwhile to remind the Armenian leadership of a few undeniable facts. Looking at the data of state statistical offices of Azerbaijan and Armenia SSR on the situation in the early years of 1988, we see that NKAO was ahead of not only Azerbaijan, but even Armenia in several areas of socio-economic development,” he said.

“Armenians` allegations and illusions, most importantly about the socio-economic backwardness of Nagorno-Karabakh, “Azerbaijanization” of NKAO, reduction of the number of Armenian population and Armenians` migration from NKAO due to harsh economic conditions are disproved by undeniable facts. On the contrary, the population of NKAO was completely literate. There were 193 general education schools, including 147 Armenian schools in the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast. Classes in Khankendi Pedagogical Institute were conducted in Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian languages. In 4 out of 5 technical and 5 vocational schools in NKAO, classes were conducted in Armenian language,” said Elchin Ahmadov.

“Although the Armenian community living in the mountainous part of the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan enjoyed autonomy covering all politic, economic, social and cultural issues during the Soviet period, in 1988 the aggressor state persuaded them that they should secede from Azerbaijan and unite with Armenia. In order to realize this false idea, the aggressor state forced about 60,000 Azerbaijanis to flee Nagorno-Karabakh, subjecting them to genocide and aggression, as well as expelled more than 200,000 Azerbaijanis from their historical lands in Armenia. It was Armenia that violated the fundamental principles of international law, particularly, the principle of non-use of force, occupied Azerbaijani territories and committed the Khojaly genocide 26 years ago.”

Elchin Ahmadov noted that the blatant Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan runs contrary to all norms and principles of international law. “This aggression by Armenia is not the exercise of the right to self-determination stipulated in the Charter of the United Nations, but it is a gross violation of paragraph 4 of the Article 2 of the UN Charter – the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of another state.”

“In general, the Republic of Armenia has flagrantly violated all the international legal documents, particularly, the fundamental principles stipulated in the Articles I and II of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as in the CSCE / OSCE Helsinki Final Act of 1 August 1975. At the same time, Armenia deliberately mixes the rights of the Armenian communities living in the territory of other states with the rights of the majority of the independent peoples and groundlessly gives preference to the rights of the Armenian ethnic groups in relation to the territorial integrity of independent states. This kind of Armenian-style interpretation of international legal norms is completely unacceptable and incompatible with the Charter of Paris for a New Europe of 21 November 1990 on the territorial integrity of states and violability of state borders.”

“In addition, as the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, the US, France and Russia, contrary to their commitments to the settlement of the conflict, do not take any measures to prevent the entry of Bako Saakian, who introduces himself as a representative of the illegal regime created in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, to the territory of their countries,” he said.

“The travels of Bako Saakian to Belgium in 2017, to the US this March, to France in November and then to Russia, most importantly, run contrary to the principles of international law as well as the OSCE mandate and mediation commitments.

The person called Bako Saakian is a representative of the puppet and illegal regime created as a result of the use of military force in the Armenia-occupied Azerbaijani territories. The opportunity given him to travel to foreign countries, including the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states, encourages the promotion of the regime which is the product of occupation, aggression and terrorism. These attempts match with Armenia`s efforts to ensure recognition of the illegal regime created in Azerbaijan`s occupied territories.”

“By taking such steps and pursuing a policy of discrimination, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries turn a blind eye to the violation of rights of more than 80,000 Azerbaijani community members of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, who were subjected to ethnic cleansing and expelled from their native lands,” he said.

“However, the US, France and Russia are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and are mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh problem based on a mandate given by the international community in order to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. They should try to ensure rapprochement between the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and return of the Azerbaijani IDPs to their native lands, instead of taking one-sided steps.”

Elchin Ahmadov underlined the importance of the UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 on Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan, saying they emphasize Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity, sovereignty and the necessity of inviolability of its borders. “Although the UN Security Council documents demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces from Azerbaijan`s occupied lands, the Minsk Group`s efforts have not produced yielded any tangible results over 26 years because of the Republic of Armenia`s overt position of military aggression. The main reason behind the failure of the OSCE`s peacemaking activity in the region is that the fact of the Republic of Armenia`s direct aggression against the Republic of Azerbaijan has not been recognized.”

“Armenia’s attempts to promote the puppet and illegal regime created as a result of the use of military force in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan are absolutely in vain, because the Armenians in the Nagorno-Karabakh region are one of the national minorities living in Azerbaijan as the Armenians living in other countries. According to international law, national minorities have the right to internal self-determination. But it cannot be in the form of independence because national minorities living in the territory of an independent state do not have such a right. From this point of view, Armenia's using the right to self-determination as a pretext is a gross violation of the norms of international law, particularly, the OSCE Helsinki Final Act principles such as sovereign equality of states, non-use of or threatening by force, inviolability of borders, territorial integrity of states, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in other states' internal affairs, and fulfilment in good faith of obligations under international law.”

Elchin Ahmadov also quoted President Ilham Aliyev who repeatedly stated that the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh should live in the conditions of high status of autonomy within the state of Azerbaijan in future. “However, having taken a non-constructive position, aggressor Armenia has been doing its utmost to artificially delay the negotiations for more than 26 years.”

“Saying that these tactics are doomed to failure, the Azerbaijani President noted that first of all Armenia must ensure step-by-step liberation of the occupied territories around the Nagorno-Karabakh, and the internally displaced persons must return to their homelands. The head of state underlined that the issue relating to the status can be discussed only after the Azerbaijani population of Nagorno-Karabakh – more than 80,000 Azerbaijanis – return to their historical homelands, including to Shusha. Undoubtedly, all these issues must be settled within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.”

“President Ilham Aliyev has also repeatedly stated that the Azerbaijani state and people will never allow the establishment of a second Armenian state on the Azerbaijani land. Nagorno-Karabakh can be granted a status only within Azerbaijan, which is possible only within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan,” Elchin Ahmadov said.

“Noting that no issue can be resolved beyond this principle, the head of state underlined that Azerbaijan will not deviate from its principled position in this regard. Thus, Armenia’s attempts to promote the criminal regime in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region as well as the so-called entity which is not recognized by any state are groundless and run completely contrary to international law,” he added.

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