ANAMA: Foreign companies may be involved in cleaning of occupied Azerbaijani territories from mines
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 11 / Trend T.Hajiyev /
Following the liberation of the Azerbaijani territories from the Armenian occupation, the operations on clearance of lands from mines should be held for at least 10 years, Director of the Azerbaijani National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) Nazim Ismayilov said at the news conference on Thursday.
"We consider several options to accelerate mine clearance after the liberation of the territories, which are still under the occupation. There may be announced a tender for cleaning of some areas, thus foreign companies will be involved in it. The second option is to attract engineering corps of the Armed Forces to these operations," he said.
Today, the agency's 550 employees conduct demining activities in the area of 20-22 million square meters. The demining activities are expected to be completed by 2014. It will be necessary to expand ANAMA's staff for several times to clean the territories liberated from the occupation.
According to him, the agency will demand maps of mined areas after the withdrawal of troops from Azerbaijani territories.
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.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.