Azerbaijan calls on EU to display ‘decisive stance’ against Armenia
The European Union must display a decisive stance against Armenia and force this country to refrain from its occupation policy, said Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov.
The deputy minister made the remarks at a conference “Involvement of the parliaments of Eastern Partnership countries in promoting gender quality and women’s health within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals” that kicked off in Baku on Friday, APA reported.
The Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Culture and Civil Society of the Euronest PA is one of the organizers of the conference.
According to him, the future of the European Eastern Partnership depends on establishing peace and stability in conflict zones.
He said that Armenia, which is a member of the organization, has occupied one fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory.
"This country’s policy aggression and ethnic cleansing has yielded terrible results. Our resources are being looted and our mosques, historical and cultural monuments are being destroyed in the occupied territories,” Khalafov said. “By maintaining the status quo, Armenia is carrying out a policy of settlement. Armenians living abroad should not support this policy so as not to suffer its heavy consequences.”
The deputy minister noted that Armenia is seeking to have European Parliament members involved in aventures by arranging trips for them to the occupied Azerbaijani lands.
“However, this policy has failed. The international community will never accept a change of borders through the use of force. The OSCE Minsk Group could do nothing as Armenia did not give up the occupation policy. The EU should display a decisive stance against the invader and force it to refrain from this policy,” he said.
The resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will contribute to the social progress and economic development of the region, he said.
“Azerbaijan is interested in the soonest settlement of the conflict. We hope that the international community will continue to support our position,” Khalafov added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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