Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on Monday received a delegation led by Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.
At the meeting Mammadyarov briefed his counterpart about the negotiation process on the resolution of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, just and fair position of Azerbaijan, Armenia’s plundering and destruction policy of the cultural heritage of Azerbaijani people in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Touching on the issue of illegal settlement of ethnic Armenian refugees from Syria in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia, Mammadyarov noted that Armenia's deliberate efforts to pursue the settlement policy and change the demographic structure of occupied territories seriously are a gross violation of international humanitarian law.
The minister noted that over a million Azerbaijanis underwent ethnic cleansing as a result of Armenian occupation.
At the meeting, the sides expressed their concern over growing racism, xenophobia, ethnic and religious hatred, and attempts to foster religious conflicts in the world.
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.