Ilham Aliyev: Reports of OSCE fact-finding missions horrifying
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.2
Regretfully, Azerbaijani people have faced a humanitarian disaster, the country’s President Ilham Aliyev said during the meeting of Pope Francis with representatives of the general public at the Heydar Aliyev Center.
President Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan’s historical land Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts have been occupied by Armenian armed forces as a result of the military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan in early 1990s.
“Our citizens, more than a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs on their native lands. Twenty percent of our lands are under occupation. A policy of ethnic cleansing was pursued against us. Khojaly genocide was committed against our people and ten countries have officially recognized this genocide,” said the president.
OSCE has sent fact-finding missions to the occupied lands twice and the report of these missions are horrifying, said the president. “All of our historical and religious monuments have been destroyed by Armenia. Our mosques, graves have been destroyed and our museums have been ravaged,” he added.
“We restored an Armenian church in Baku and more than 5,000 books in Armenian language are kept in this church. This is the difference: their actions and our attitude. Therefore, it is not accidental that Azerbaijan is known in the world as a center of multiculturalism,” said the president.
President Aliyev pointed out that the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved in line with the international law.
“The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on this conflict. These resolutions call for immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from our lands,” he said. “Regretfully, these resolutions are not fulfilled and our lands have been under occupation for more than 20 years.”
Like all other conflicts, the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be resolved within the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, said the president.
“As I said, our country and our people greatly suffer from this conflict,” he added.
“Our population was 8 million in early 1990s and one million of them are refugees and IDPs. We resolved and resolving this humanitarian disaster by ourselves,” added President Aliyev.