Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 25 / Trend, E. Mehdiyev /
Around 220 million square meters of 350 million square meters of Azerbaijani territory liberated from occupation during the 1990's have been cleared of mines during the past ten years, director of the Azerbaijani National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) Nazim Ismailov told media today.
He added that at present, settlements have been created in these areas.
Tens of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons live in Fizuli, Agdam, Goranboy and Imishli, he added.
"Around 12,000 people live in Zobdzhuk, in Fizuli region," he said. "By 2016 we must have completely cleaned up these areas. These operations will be carried out there after Azerbaijan's occupied territories have been liberated."
Around 600 people equipped with the necessary equipment were involved in clearing operations, he said.
"According to orders placed by Turkish companies, we have been conducting clearing operations on the border with Syria for two years," he said. "Currently we are involved in a large tender. Around 20 companies participated there, 11 of which, including ANAMA remain on the list. The tender results will be made public in March. We hope that ANAMA will win. In general, we plan to participate in all of these events."
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.
Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at email@example.com