Great Britain acknowledges Azerbaijani IDPs’ right to return home
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 11
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan has one of the highest populations of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the world in per capita terms, a report from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) entitled 'Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the South Caucasus: the numbers game' says.
The report acknowledges the extent of Azerbaijan's IDP crisis and their right to return as part of any settlement, FCO says.
The report analyses the seismic population shifts that have taken place in Azerbaijan and Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and the economic impact of this. It also speaks of the "enormous suffering and hardship" on those affected.
These people are the ongoing victims of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, the report says.
"The right of refugees and IDPs to return to their homes is central to Baku's vision for restoring their territorial integrity - and in principle, this is supported by the international community as a necessary element of any long-term settlement," the report says.
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is Trend Agency's staff writer, follow her on Twitter @EmmaTariver