Azerbaijan, Baku, June 18 / Trend , J.Babayeva/
The Azerbaijani deputy prime minister regrets exclusion of some Azerbaijani refugees from the list of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCR).
"Azerbaijan issues citizen ship to refugees and internally displaced persons under the UN Convention on Refugee Status dated 1999. The UN High Commissioner explains that refugees have already received a citizenship and the Azerbaijani government provides them," Chairman of the Azerbaijan State Committee on Refugees and IDPs, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Hasanov told journalists on June 18.
The UNHCR's list indicates that there are 600,000 refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan.
However, there are roughly one million refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan. Some 250,000 of them are ethnic Azerbaijanis deported from Armenia in 1988-1992, 50,000 - are Ahiska Turks deported from Uzbekistan and people coming from the third country, 600,000 - people coming from the Azerbaijani occupied territory and 100,000 - people coming from the Azerbaijani-Armenian border region.
Hasanov said Azerbaijanis deported from Armenia have a refugee status.
"Although their privileges were annulled, it does not mean that they have lost a refugee status. They will bear this status until they return to their native lands," the deputy prime minister said.
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 7 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 the peace negotiations.