Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.12
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia must be liberated, MP Luke Simpkins, the chairman of the Australia-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Friendship Group, said in the Australian parliament.
"Armenia illegally seized sovereign territory of Azerbaijan in 1992-1993," he said. "This includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan. As a result of the attack and seizure of that territory by Armenia, over 1 million Azerbaijanis were forced out of their homes and became internally displaced persons in other parts of Azerbaijan. Therefore, over 1 million Azerbaijanis have been kept from their land, their property and the graves of their ancestors for over 20 years."
Azerbaijani citizens Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev are still being held hostage by the Armenian side.
Simpkins called this situation as unacceptable.
During an operation in the Shaplar village of Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar district on July 11, 2014 Armenian forces killed an Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. A criminal case was filed against them.
Afterwards, a "court" sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.
"I understand that the exact whereabouts of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev and their health conditions are unknown," he said. "There are many inconsistencies in different accounts of Armenian sources. I would ask the foreign minister to raise this matter with Armenia."
"The occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be released," he said. "Armenia must release Asgarov and Guliyev."
Simpkins stressed that he intends to continue raising issues concerning Azerbaijan in the Australian parliament.
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 the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.