Agshin Mehdiyev sends letter to UN Secretary General on resettlement of Syrian Armenians in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories

Agshin Mehdiyev sends letter to UN Secretary General on resettlement of Syrian Armenians in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories
# 16 February 2013 11:40 (UTC +04:00)

Baku – APA. Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the UN, Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev has sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the resettlement of Syrian Armenians in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s Permanent mission to the UN told APA.

Noting the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council on the military occupation of Nagorno Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, Ambassador underlined that making changes in the demographic structure of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Armenia intends to prevent the return of Azerbaijanis to their lands: “Thus, since the beginning of the conflict, a number of Armenians have been resettled in those areas. In this regard, Armenia violates international humanitarian law and international norms and standards on human rights.”

Mentioning the fact-finding and field assessment missions sent by OSCE to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in 2005 and 2010 on the initiative of Azerbaijan, Mehdiyev noted that the missions found out that about 14 000 Armenians were resettled in the territories, which 750 000 Azerbaijanis were forced to leave:

“Despite the international community’s condemnation of the practice of resettlement in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories, efforts to resist this and calls to prohibit changes in the demographic structure of the region, this practice is still being continued. The recent reports on the resettlement of Syrian Armenians in Nagorno Karabakh and the other occupied areas once more proves the policy of intentional resettlement pursued by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s territories. Armenia’s president Serzh Sargysan confirmed in his speech at the Armenian Defense Ministry on January 15, 2013 that the Armenian government gives much attention to the problems of the Armenians, who fled from Syria, and approximately 6000 Syrian Armenians were provided shelter in Armenia. He admitted that the Armenian government is taking measures to ensure the needs of Syrian Armenians” (enter the website of Armenia’s president www.president.am/en/press-release/item/2013/01/15/President-Serzh-Sargsyan-participated-at-the-meeting-Ministry-of-Defense/).

The media outlets report that 30 Syrian Armenian families, who came to Armenia under these terms, went to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and were mainly resettled in occupied Lachin region, which is located between Azerbaijan’s Nagorno Karabakh region and Armenia. The Syrian Armenians are offered various concessions, including free apartments, social infrastructure, cheap or free public services, tax exemptions, plot of land, favorable loans, money and cattle: “In other words, at a time when the international community is looking for ways out of the Syrian crisis, the troubles of the Syrian people are used to complicate the situation in another region and efforts to achieve peace. In any case, it is illegal and unacceptable to attempt to ensure the needs of Syrian Armenians contrary to the interests of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis hoping to return to their lands.”

According to the international law, Armenia bears responsibility on the level that violated the legal norms in the context of the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories. It should be noted that Armenia bears responsibility not only for the actions of its armed forces and other organizations and agencies, but also for the actions of the separatist regime illegally established in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.

Taking the aforementioned into account, I have been commissioned by my Government to express protest against Armenia’s policy on resettlement and occupation of Azerbaijani territories and state that it is inadmissible. Such an irresponsible and provocative policy is doomed to failure. It has been confirmed on the international level that those territories are an integral part of Azerbaijan and Armenia will be obliged to fully withdraw its forced from those territories, cancel all outcomes of its illegal activity, including establishment of settlements.

It is obvious that establishment of settlements and other illegal actions in the occupied Azerbaijani territories pose direct threat to the peace, security and stability in the region and violate the rights of the hundreds of thousands of people forced to leave their native lands. In this regard, I have the honor to extend to all member states, the UN Secretariat and related agencies the request of the Azerbaijani Government to thoroughly investigate the current settlement activity in the occupied territories and take all necessary measures to prevent any further settlement of these areas and to ensure that those who have moved there are immediately and unconditionally evicted”, the letter says.

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Nagorno Garabagh

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