Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 13 / Trend /
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has urged the international community to bring to justice those responsible for crimes against civilians.
Mammadyarov made this statement during the UN Security Council's open debate on "The Protection of civilians in Armed Conflicts" in New York.
"The war launched by neighboring Armenia against Azerbaijan led to the occupation of the country's territories and continues to exert an impact on the civilian population," he said. "As a result of the Armenian aggression, every ninth Azerbaijani resident is a refugee or internally displaced person."
The world community is aware of Azerbaijan's position on the issue. Azerbaijan stands for a peaceful settlement of all conflicts and consistent development, he said.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister regretted that the international community has not properly assessed gross violations of the rights of Azerbaijani people expelled from their native lands as a result of Armenian aggression.
He has also mentioned the genocide in Khojaly during his speech.
"An act of genocide was committed against Azerbaijani civilians in Khojaly 21 years ago," he said. "More than 600 civilians were killed in the city during one night just because they were Azerbaijanis."
These facts of ethnic cleansing and genocide, attacks on the local population are a violation of international humanitarian law, he said.
Mammadyarov also said that the UN must play a more active role in this issue.
"All forms of armed conflicts, including protracted conflicts need your special attention," he said.
"Issues of property, lands, discrimination on ethnic grounds, occurring in such situations, require a more consistent approach to put an end to illegal actions and to return displaced people their homes."
He added that it is necessary to put an end to the violation of rights of people affected by armed conflict.
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.
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