Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend K.Ramazanova / All Armenians who are residing in the Azerbaijan occupied district of Lachin must leave the district, said the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Araz Azimov, on 2 August commenting on the information that a large part of the Armenian population has already left Lachin.
According to Azimov, the Armenians are residing in this territory illegally. "This cannot continue. Azerbaijanis returning to their native land is a principle issue. Those who do not reside in their native land cannot feel comfortable," he said. Azimov stressed that the Azerbaijanis will return to their native land and will be prepared to co-exist peacefully with the Armenians. "However, relevant conditions need to be created for this," Azerbaijani diplomat said.
The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.