MEPs criticize Armenian shelling of Azerbaijani civilians
The latest incidents on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops were discussed at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) on Tuesday, the Azerbaijani Delegation to the Euronest PA told APA.
Azerbaijani and Armenian independent experts, who were present at the meeting, also joined the discussions.
Addressing the meeting, Ivo Vajgl, MEP from Slovenia, pointed out that Azerbaijan is suffering from Armenian invasion, Azerbaijanis have fled their homes, and innocent people were killed by Armenian forces at the front line on July 4.
He also noted that Azerbaijan is located between two powerful states in the region.
The Slovenian MP said that everyone knows which side is interested in the conflict, stressing the need for serious efforts to resolve the conflict in this particular region, which is the key to the EU’s security.
He added that this conflict can only be resolved in line with international law which respects border inviolability.
Romanian MP Norica Nicolai, who also acts as a European Parliament rapporteur for Azerbaijan, harshly criticized Armenia for deaths among civilians. According to him, the latest incident took place not in Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but in an area adjacent to it, where the peaceful Azerbaijani population lives.
Petras Austrevicius, MEP from Lithuania, said that that Armenia did wrong by shelling Azerbaijani civilians and there is a serious threat of escalation of the conflict.
Zeljana Zovko, MEP from Croatia, said that only a peaceful solution is possible to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and a new war is unacceptable. According to her, the tension leads to deaths of civilians and it is important to prevent it.
Attending the meeting, an Armenian expert regretted that a process of militarization is going on in the Armenian society and the power has been concentrated in one center through the presidential administration.
Several other MEPs also addressed the meeting, expressing their concerns about the incidents taking place on the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops.
It should be noted that on July 4 at about 20:40 (GMT+4 hours), the Armenian armed forces, using 82-mm and 120-mm mortars and grenade launchers, shelled the Alkhanli village of Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district. As a result of this provocation, the residents of the village Sahiba Allahverdiyeva, 50, and Zahra Guliyeva, 2, were killed. Salminaz Guliyeva, 52, was injured.
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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