Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.2
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
Azerbaijan has always paid special attention to the humanitarian cooperation, solution of humanitarian issues, but the country is facing a humanitarian catastrophe, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said while speaking in the opening ceremony of the fourth International Humanitarian Forum in Baku on Oct. 2.
"Azerbaijan's territorial integrity has been violated and aggressive policy is pursued against the country," Aliyev said.
Aliyev stressed that Armenia have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory and over a million of Azerbaijani citizens have become IDPs as a result of the occupation.
"Ethnic cleansing policy was conducted against us. Khojaly genocide committed against us claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people," the president said, adding that Khojaly genocide has been officially recognized by over 10 countries.
The head of state said that all influential international organizations have adopted decisions and resolutions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Aliyev reminded that the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding the unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan's occupied territories and expressed regret that these resolutions haven't been implemented so far.
"We face great injustice, double standards. We are well aware that in some cases, resolutions of the UN Security Council are implemented within a day, while the resolutions on the most important issue for us have remained on paper for more than 20 years," President Aliyev said.
The president added that OSCE, European Parliament, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and other international organizations have adopted decisions and resolutions supporting Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
"This format and this legal framework is the only way to settle the conflict. Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is recognized all over the world, and it must be unconditionally restored," the head of state said, adding that Azerbaijani citizens expelled from their native lands as a result of Armenian occupation should return to their homes, despite that everything has been destroyed on these lands.
"OSCE's fact-finding missions have been sent to the occupied territories twice, and upon return they reported that our mosques, tombs of our ancestors, historical monuments were destroyed and museums were looted," the president said adding that it is a huge humanitarian tragedy.
The head of state said that Azerbaijan has done a great work on its own to solve this humanitarian problem related to the settling and employing of refugees, adding that this work continues, since part of the refugees still live in difficult conditions.
"Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the biggest threat to the region. The speedy settlement of this conflict in accordance with the international law will bring peace and greater development to this region and create new opportunities for the regional cooperation," President Aliyev said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding 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.