Eastern Partnership's future depends on restoration of peace, stability in conflict regions
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 22
By Ilhama Isabalayeva – Trend:
The future of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program depends on the restoration of peace and stability in the conflict regions, said Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov.
He made the remarks at the conference on involving parliaments of the Eastern Partnership countries in promoting gender equality and women’s health as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, held with participation of the Euronest PA Committee on Social Affairs, Education, Culture and Civil Society, in Baku Sept. 22.
Khalafov noted that one-fifth of the territories of Azerbaijan are occupied by another member state of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program.
The policy of aggression and ethnic cleansing of Armenia led to serious consequences, said the deputy foreign minister.
“They plunder our wealth, destroy mosques, monuments of history and culture in the occupied Azerbaijani lands,” he noted adding that the EU must demonstrate a decisive attitude towards Armenia and force it to refrain from such a policy.
The conflict’s settlement will contribute to the social progress and economic development of the region, added Khalafov.
“Azerbaijan is interested in early settlement of the conflict and hopes that the international community will continue to support our position,” said the official.
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, in 1992 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 the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.