Azerbaijan, Baku, June 27 / Trend, E.Mehdiyev /
The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still remains an impediment to the integration of the entire region into Euro-Atlantic architecture. Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Political Analysis and Information Provision Department head Elnur Aslanov made this statement at the "Great Silk Road" International Youth Congress and Festival in Baku.
He said almost 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan has been still occupied by Armenia, around 1 million ethnically cleansed Azerbaijani population has become internally displaced and refugees.
"Despite four U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories, Armenian government is turning a blind eye to these decisions, failing to fulfill them and continuing to occupy Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territories," Aslanov said.
He underscored that the withdrawal of Armenian troops in a fixed time framework from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan will open a tremendous opportunities for the region, providing a different environment of predictability, development and benefit for everyone.
"Armenia, the smallest of the successor states of the former Soviet Union, instead of negotiating in good faith with a vision to find a durable solution to the conflict as soon as possible, prefers escalation with unpredictable consequences," Aslanov said during his speech.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent 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.
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