Baku, Azerbaijan, March 17
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend
Azerbaijan's position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is based on international principles and supported by the majority of countries and organisations, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said on March 17 at the first Congress of Azerbaijanis working in international organisations.
"Azerbaijan's position is based on international law and this is the principle of inviolability of territorial integrity," he said.
Azimov stressed that the 'Great Return' project associated with the return of people from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to their native lands, must be promoted in the international organisations.
"One must not forget that there are refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan who were forced to change residence," he said. "The problem of refugees and internally displaced persons is being resolved in the country, but they have temporarily settled into new places. This must not be considered as a solution to the problem. This will only happen with a return to their native lands."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Translated by NH
Edited by SM