Azerbaijan urges OIC countries to limit all forms of co-op with Armenia
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has urged the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to make every effort to support the measures to end Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, avoid illegal economic and other activities in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, limit all forms of cooperation with Armenia.
Mammadyarov made the remarks at the OIC Contact Group meeting on the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, which was held in New York on the sidelines of the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told APA.
The minister noted that for the period after the first meeting of the OIC Contact Group, the situation on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement process didn’t change, on the contrary, clashes on the frontline, as well as cases of deliberate killing of Azerbaijani civilians residing along the contact line between the Armenian and Azerbaijani troops increased.
He underscored the need to implement UN Security Council’s Resolutions (822, 853, 874, 884) which reaffirm the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and calls for an unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
“In response to territorial claims and aggressive actions of Armenia, the UN Security Council reaffirms that Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, the basis requirements of the UN Security Council have not yet been fulfilled, and mediation efforts made within the OSCE for more than 20 years have not yielded results,” Mammadyarov said.
He added that despite the agreement on the ceasefire regime, Armenian armed forces continue carrying out violent attacks on the Azerbaijani cities and villages located at the contact line between troops and along the border of the two states, as a result of which servicemen and citizens of Azerbaijan are being killed and wounded.
“More recently these attacks have intensified. On July 4, 2017, two civilians—one of them a small child—were killed in a deliberate shelling by Armenian armed forces of the Alkhanli village of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district. Another person was wounded,” said Mammadyarov. “As a consequence of another provocation by Armenian armed forces on August 7, a 13-year-old resident was wounded in Tovuz district.”
He noted that all this confirms a gross and systematic violation of the Geneva Convention by Armenia.
Mammadyarov also urged the OIC countries to refrain from Armenia’s armament in order to prevent the escalation of the conflict, and ban the transit of weapons and military equipment through their territories for this purpose.
The top diplomat said Azerbaijan, as a country that suffered from the occupation of its territories and the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of its citizen, it the most interested party in a political settlement of the conflict that will ensure the full development of the whole region, peace and justice.
He underlined that Azerbaijan will never make concessions in matters relating to its territorial integrity as well as the rights and freedoms of its citizens.
“Armenia must realize that the military occupation of the territories of a sovereign state and the conduct of an ethnic cleansing policy will not bring any political results,” said Mammadyarov. “To achieve peace, security and stability, Armenia must fully, immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops from the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and adjacent districts, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored, and the right of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons to return to their native lands must be ensured.”
Azerbaijan relies on the consistent solidarity of the Islamic world in resolute condemnation of the use of force against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and the occupation of its territories, Mammadyarov added.
The minister expressed his confident that the discussions within the Contact Group will contribute to the implementation of OIC’s resolutions condemning Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan and will also help coordinate the individual and joint efforts of OIC member states in this direction.
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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