Baku, December 21, AZERTAC
In the process of the peaceful resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Armenian troops must withdraw from the occupied territories. The return of the IDPs to their homes, including the Azerbaijanis of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, has to be safe and dignified and the realization of their property rights must be ensured, said in a statement adopted at the Congress of “the Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno-Karabakh Region of the Republic of Azerbaijan”.
The statement reads: “In the late 1980’s, the wave of the Armenian separatism in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan resulted in the ethnic conflict and the expulsion of our compatriots from their native lands in Armenia and from Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia’s military aggression led to the occupation of twenty percent of the territory of Azerbaijan – Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts. Conducting of that policy culminated in ethnic cleansing across that territory, with over one million of Azerbaijanis becoming refugees and IDPs.
From the early days of the conflict that has lasted for 30 years, while still an integral part of the former Soviet Union, Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) launched its overt territorial claims on the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan SSR and blatantly supported violent separatism, accompanied by brutality and terror against the Azerbaijani population.
In the meantime, Armenia unilaterally passed a number of illegitimate decrees aimed at secession of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region from Azerbaijan and annexation of these territories to Armenia. However, even during the existence of the Soviet Union – on 10 January 1990, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR adopted the Resolution “On incompatibility of the acts of the Supreme Council of the Armenian SSR (adopted on 1 December 1989 and 9 January 1990 regarding Nagorno-Karabakh) with the Constitution of the USSR”, stating the illegality of the Nagorno-Karabakh joining the Armenian SSR without the consent of the Azerbaijan SSR.
All these facts demonstrate that even then, the unilateral secession of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Azerbaijan without its consent, contravened the legislation of the USSR – an affirmation at the highest constitutional level. Therefore, based on the existing legislature of the time, the Nagorno-Karabakh was also recognized as an integral part of Azerbaijan when the latter gained its independence.
Nevertheless, violating flagrantly the norms and principles of the international law, Armenia unleashed an open war against Azerbaijan and occupied the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and seven adjacent districts. Armenia carried out a total ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population in the occupied territories and in the Nagorno-Karabakh. Currently, more than 80,000 members of the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region have been forced to live as IDP’s in different regions across Azerbaijan for more than 30 years.
The world community and the international organizations support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and endorse fair resolution of the conflict in accordance with the norms of the international law. The UN Security Council resolutions recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh region as an integral part of Azerbaijan and demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. This demand was reaffirmed in resolutions and decisions of other international organizations such as the Non-Aligned Movement, OSCE, NATO, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and etc.
Nonetheless, Armenia continues to ignore all these aspects by maintaining the status-quo based on the occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands, including annexation of Nagorno-Karabakh, and deliberately attempts to disguise its actions as the exercising of the right to self-determination. To that end, Armenia even tries to deny the very existence of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh, while destroying the cultural heritage of the Azerbaijani people and continuing illegal resettlement in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding territories.
One of the fundamental principles of international law – the right to self-determination - does not imply committing violence and violation of human rights of others. Fundamental human rights and freedoms are universal, indivisible and will be applied on an equal base without any discrimination by embracing all the mankind.
According to the OSCE documents, in the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, Armenia and Azerbaijan are defined as the parties to the conflict, while the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities are recognized as interested parties.
In the process of the peaceful resolution of the conflict the Armenian troops must withdraw from the occupied territories. The return of the IDPs to their homes, including the Azerbaijanis of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, has to be safe and dignified and the realization of their property rights must be ensured.
The members of the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan believe that the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh are capable of living peacefully side-by-side once again, within the internationally recognized borders, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
In the environment of peaceful co-existence of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, a durable peace, sustainable regional stability and security will prevail. For this purpose, a dialogue between the two communities must be encouraged as an important step. The Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan stands ready to pursue a constructive dialogue.
The Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan appeals to the international community, especially to the Co-Chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group to step up their efforts in order to contribute to the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and to support the contacts between the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.”
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