Baku, Azerbaijan, May 5
Azerbaijan has urged the international organizations to increase the efforts for ensuring the rights of over a million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to return to their native lands.
The remarks were made by Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov during a meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said May 5.
The deputy minister noted that the main obstacle to ensuring the human rights in the country in general, is the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands.
Khalafov also briefed the UN high commissioner about the latest escalation of the situation on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies in early April, the intensive shelling of Azerbaijani civilians along the line of contact and the casualties.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers. The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements.
Military operations were stopped on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian armies on Apr. 5 at 12:00 (UTC/GMT + 4 hours) with the consent of the sides, Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry earlier said. Ignoring the agreement, the Armenian side again started violating the ceasefire.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.