Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 19
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
Azerbaijani society based on religious and ethnic tolerance may be a model for Belgians, Member of Belgian Parliament, Alain Courtois said.
He made the remarks answering the questions of the European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) regarding the tolerance of the Azerbaijani society and Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Azerbaijan is one of the countries that are known very few in Belgium. Notwithstanding that there is cultural diversity in the Azerbaijani society, this state is often considered as 'a country that is far'," Courtois said.
According to him, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that has lasted for over 20 years hinders the region's fully benefiting from the economic, geographical, and cultural potential.
"It is not acceptable that Armenia still have not implemented the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 1993. I think that, any constructive negotiations should be conducted based on the international law and principles. Armenia should agree with this international frame and must respect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Only after that, the balanced negotiations will be brought to the settlement that would be effective for the whole South Caucasus region," the Belgian MP said.
There is no doubt that, the refugee and IDP problem in Azerbaijan is a tragedy, Courtois underscored.
"I call for the international community to pay more attention to this forgotten problem. While international community pays so much attention to the human tragedy in Syria, this old refugee and IDP problem in the South Caucasus remains out of attention. This creates obstacles for Azerbaijan's social and economic development and its sustainable future," he added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the THE OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.