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Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
PACE can't ignore the problems of Nagorno-Karabakh and the sufferings of the ordinary people who are facing the shortage of water from the Sarsang reservoir, which is controlled by Armenia, said Milica Markovic, PACE rapporteur.
Markovic is also the author of a report titled "Inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan are deliberately deprived of water".
"The matter rests in the population of the Council of Europe and an OSCE member state, and the humanitarian and social problems concerning us directly," she said, addressing a PACE session in Strasbourg.
"The problem regarding the provision of the Azerbaijani population with drinking water is very important," she said. "Despite the Azerbaijani authorities' all efforts to provide the population with drinking water, it is not enough for irrigation."
Markovic also said the Armenian side has refused to cooperate on the issue.
The Sarsang reservoir was built to provide residents with water and irrigate agriculture in the border areas. But after the occupation of these lands, Armenia has been using this reservoir as a tool of humanitarian and ecological terror.
In winter, the Armenian side intentionally opens the floodgates and creates conditions for flooding of the surrounding areas. In summer, Armenia doesn't allow to use the reservoir. As a result, there are serious problems in provision of people with water, irrigating agriculture and preserving biodiversity.
The use of water, according to international conventions, is an integral part of human rights.
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 withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.