Nagorno-Karabakh conflict stands out as a major threat to international and regional peace and security - Azerbaijani FM
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 26 / Trend /
The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh stands out as a major threat to international and regional peace and security, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, speaking Friday at the UN General Assembly.
Minister said the need to protect each state was the main reason for creating a collective security system, with the United Nations Organization at its core. However, there is unlawful use of force in the context of international relations. The most vivid example of misconduct of the norms and principles of international law is the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is still to resolved, said Mammadyarov.
As a result of Armenian aggression, almost one-fifth of Azerbaijan's territory has been occupied, approximately 1 million ethnically cleansed Azerbaijani people have become internally displaced and refugees, while thousands of Azerbaijani historical-cultural heritage were devastated and looted.
The Minister recalled that the UN Security Council in its four resolutions on the conflict reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inadmissibility of use of force for the acquisition of territory of another country. UN has recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan and called for immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the belligerent forces from occupied territory of Azerbaijan. The UN General Assembly in its resolution of 14 March 2008 also expressed respect and support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.
The approach of the UN Security Council and the General Assembly reflected in the above-mentioned resolutions is fully consistent with the position of Azerbaijan, which from the beginning advocated for a step-by-step approach to the conflict settlement as the only viable option, Elmar Mammadyarov said.
The Minister stressed that a number of important steps should be taken, beginning with the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories, rehabilitation of this territory and repatriation of the internally displaced persons, opening of all communications for the mutual use. "This will enable to remove the consequences of the conflict and pave a way for the establishment of durable peace and stability in the region conducive to the elaboration of the legal status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region within Azerbaijan," Mammadyarov said.
According to Mamedyarov, the current settlement process gives some hopes for breaking the stalemate in the resolution of the conflict. "Armenia's consent to the step-by-step approach to the settlement of the conflict on the basis of the principles and norms of international law is a positive sign," he said.
"Azerbaijan is ready to continue talks with Armenia's leadership for the secure and stable South Caucasus region and beyond which will allow using the ample regional opportunities for the benefit of all," said Minister.