Baku, Azerbaijan, May 13
The settlement of Syrian Armenians into the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is illegal under international law and must be stopped immediately, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said on May 13.
The minister made the remarks while speaking at the first session of the Arab Cooperation and Economic Forum with Central Asia and Azerbaijan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The foreign minister's speech has been posted on the website of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry.
Mammadyarov pointed out that Armenia continues to use force to sustain military occupation of the Azerbaijani territories and to prevent one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDP's from returning to their homes.
He underscored that the majority of Azerbaijan's historical and cultural monuments were destroyed and desecrated.
"It is a matter of yet another serious concern that Armenia expands settlement of Syrian Armenians into the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to change the demography on the ground. Such activity is illegal under international law and must be stopped immediately," the minister stressed.
He also expressed gratitude to the Islamic world for condemning the Armenian aggression and for supporting Azerbaijan.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries 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.