Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 January /corr. Trend A.Maharremli, I.Alizade / Thousands of hectares of land has been destroyed, significant damage has been inflicted to flora and fauna as a result of arson committed by Armenians in occupied Azerbaijani lands.
This wide spread arson is a serious blow not only to the ecology of Azerbaijan, but also to Europe. "In addition, the forests are being cut down in 20% of territory of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia and are sold abroad as raw material," a member of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Ganira Pashayeva, said on 23 January at PACE discussions on the topic 'Global potential and ecological cataclysm'.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries started in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under Armenian occupation. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are holding peaceful negotiations.
In January 2005, PACE passed Resolution 1416 connected to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. The Resolution says that Armenia occupies Azerbaijani territories. It also contains suggestions on settling of conflict. PACE established a sub-committee on control over implementation of the document.
The PACE winter session is taking place in Strasburg. An Azerbaijani delegation is also attending the session. The session will conclude on 25 January.
According to Pashayeva, the Azerbaijani delegation has repeatedly raised the issue of arson committed by the Armenians in occupied Azerbaijani lands, in the Council of Europe and its various structures. "Despite video materials from satellite being broadcast with regards to arson committed by the Armenians in occupied Azerbaijani lands, there were no keen reactions from the organization," she said.
The MP called upon the Council of Europe to take serious measures to prevent ecologic catastrophe in occupied Azerbaijani lands.
In addition, in her speech she touched upon the issue of hydro resources of Azerbaijan. Large parts of water reserves in Azerbaijan are located in occupied Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis have not been able to use them for 15 years already.
"Another serious problem is that a large part of drinking water reserves are formed outside of Azerbaijan. For several years Armenians have been continuing to throw chemical, biological and other hazardous waste into rivers which pass through Armenia and make up large part of the drinking water of Azerbaijan," Pashayeva said.