Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The results of the World Humanitarian Summit will contribute to the improvement of living standards of the people who suffer from humanitarian crises around the world, said Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.
"We in Azerbaijan know very well what it means to be a refugee or an internally displaced person," said President Aliyev addressing the World Humanitarian Summit underway in Istanbul May 23.
The president reminded that for over 20 years, more than one million Azerbaijanis have suffered from military aggression and occupation by Armenia.
"As a result of this aggression, 20 percent of our internationally recognized territory is under occupation," said the president. "More than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons."
The president said that Armenia committed ethnic cleansing and genocide against Azerbaijanis.
"Khodjaly genocide committed by Armenia in 1992 is recognized by more than 10 countries. As a result of Khodjaly genocide, 613 civilians were brutally killed, among them 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly. More than 1,000 people are missing," said President Aliyev.
He further said that Armenia continues its policy of aggression against Azerbaijan.
"In April of 2016, Armenia launched new attack on peaceful Azerbaijani citizens. As a result of this attack, our soldiers and officers, as well as 6 civilians were killed. More than 30 civilians wounded. As a result of shelling of our civilian villages, more than 500 houses were damaged, and more than 100 houses were completely destroyed and burned," said the president.
President Aliyev also informed the summit participants that the Armenian army used prohibited weapons against Azerbaijani civilians, in particular white phosphorus bombs.
"All the war crimes committed by Armenia are documented and presented to international monitors," he said. "In order to protect our civilian population, Azerbaijani army conducted successful counter-attack, and only after that the aggressor stopped."
The president reminded that Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions, demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territory of Azerbaijan.
The president said that Nagorno Karabakh and seven other districts of Azerbaijan were occupied by Armenia. "In some cases the UN Security Council resolutions are implemented within days, if not hours. In our case it has remained on paper for more than 20 years. This is the policy of double standards against Azerbaijan."
"Armenia must implement these resolutions or be sanctioned. Territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored," said Ilham Aliyev.
Another serious threat to the region, according to Azerbaijani president, is the outdated Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor.
"There is information that Armenia is illegally using the radioactive waste," said Ilham Aliyev. "Former prime minister, parliament members and other officials of Armenia declared this April that Armenia has a nuclear weapon, the so called the "dirty bomb". This statement must be thoroughly examined by corresponding international organizations. Armenia's nuclear threat and blackmail must be stopped."
President Aliyev said that Azerbaijan does its best to overcome the consequences of humanitarian catastrophe caused by Armenia.
"More than $6 billion were spent to improve the living conditions of our refugees and IDPs," he said. "The level of poverty among refugees and IDPs dropped from 75 to 12 percent, in general poverty level in Azerbaijan dropped from almost 50 percent to 5 percent in the last 12 years," he said.
Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan provides and will continue to provide assistance to countries suffering from similar problems.
"We provided financial assistance to support the UN Ebola response and recovery actions. We are also committed to promote cooperation among relevant institutions and stake holders for ensuring access of population to early warning system and disaster risk information," he said.