Azerbaijani FM: Thousands of cultural and historical monuments, including of Islamic heritage, in Azerbaijan's occupied lands devastated
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 28 /Trend /
Thousands of Azerbaijani cultural and historical monuments, including of Islamic heritage were devastated and looted, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the 38th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation- OIC (former Organization of the Islamic Conference), the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported.
"I would also like to express once again Azerbaijan's sincere gratitude to the Islamic Ummah and the OIC Secretary General for their vigorous support to the just cause of Azerbaijan in the ongoing armed conflict with Armenia as a result of which almost twenty percent of Azerbaijan's territory still remains under occupation by Armenia. Presumably one million Azerbaijanis have been ethnically cleansed from their native lands, and thousands of Azerbaijani cultural and historical monuments, including of Islamic heritage were devastated and looted," Mammadyarov said.
He said the Azerbaijani government remains committed to the peaceful settlement of this protracted conflict based on the respect for the norms and principles of international law, implementation of the relevant UN Security Council and OIC resolutions as well as appropriate documents and decisions adopted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Council of Europe and European Parliament.
"All these documents unanimously supported territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, contains a strong call on Armenia to withdraw its troops from the occupied lands of my country and return of refugees and IDP's to the places of their origin," he stressed.
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.