Hikmet Hajiyev: Int’l community should redouble efforts for soonest resolution of Karabakh conflict

Hikmet Hajiyev: Int’l community should redouble efforts for soonest resolution of Karabakh conflict

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.18

By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:

The international community should redouble their efforts for the soonest resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Assistant of the President, Head of Foreign Policy Department of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajiyev told Radio France Internationale (RFI), Trend reports.

“Security and peace in Caucasus region has been undermined by the existence of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Short history of the conflict is that simply, Armenia by use of force occupied sovereign territories of Azerbaijan. First it is illegal and it is violation of international law. UN Security Council adopted four resolutions condemning Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijani territories and demanding withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Other international organizations, including European Parliament, OSCE, European Council and some others have also adopted similar resolutions and documents demanding Armenia to stop this conflict and withdraw its troops. But unfortunately, we don’t see any particular breakthrough in the conflict,” he said.

Hajiyev went on to add that Armenia continues to preserve the status quo based on occupation, keeps Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees out from these territories that are under occupation.

“In Azerbaijan, we have 1 million refugees and IDPs, who have the right to return back to these territories. Therefore, our appeal to the international community, including the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries is that they should redouble their efforts for the soonest resolution of the conflict based on the norms and principles of the international law and also bearing in mind the fundamental principle of justice. Of course, they are doing their work and we appreciate that Minsk Group co-chair countries are engaged in the resolution of the conflict in the status of mediators. But of course, more needs to be done. We, of course, always support substantive negotiations. What we see is that Armenia always tries to run away from the substance. What is the substance of the conflict? For the substance of the conflict there are fundamental root causes of the conflict. The fundamental root cause is the occupation of Azerbaijani territories,” noted Hajiyev.

He pointed out that there should be strong demand, political diplomatic pressure by co-chairing countries and they should demand from Armenia to fulfill its obligations under the international law.

“Everything should start from de-occupation. We have also UN Security Council resolutions and they must be respected and fulfilled by all countries,” added Hajiyev.

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, 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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