Azerbaijan has biggest number of refugees per capita due to Armenian occupation
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 20
As a result of the Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan has become one of the countries with the biggest number of refugees per capita, the head of the press service of Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev said in connection with the June 20 World Refugee Day.
"Armenia, in gross violation of international law and the UN Charter, started war against Azerbaijan, occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan, subjecting to ethnic cleansing more than one million Azerbaijanis living in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan, as well as in the territory of Armenia. As a result, taking into account the population growth, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan has exceeded 1.2 million people," Hajiyev said.
The head of the press service of the Foreign Ministry noted that, over the past 20 years Azerbaijan spent $6 billion to ensure the social welfare of internally displaced persons, and as a result, a significant reduction in poverty and unemployment among internally displaced persons was achieved.
"Voluntary, safe and dignified return to their native land is the only choice demanded by the IDPs themselves. The reconstruction of the village of Jojug Marjanli in the occupied Jabrail district and ensuring the safe return of the residents of this village to their native land, has become a manifestation of the strong intention of the government of Azerbaijan, and is a unique and successful project in terms of post-conflict rehabilitation and solution of the problems of internally displaced persons," Hajiyev said.
He said that Armenia demonstrates its desire to change the economic, cultural and demographic character of the occupied territories, prevent the return of the Azerbaijani population of Armenia to their homes and to annex the Azerbaijani lands.
"The policy pursued by Armenia to resettle Armenian refugees from Syria to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, in flagrant violation of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Additional Protocol, is a clear example of attempts to use human suffering for illegal purposes," Hajiyev added.
Hajiyev also noted that the European Court of Human Rights in the case of "Chiragov and others against Armenia" confirmed the right of return of internally displaced persons to their land and called for respect for human rights related to international humanitarian law and civil rights.
"The only solution to the problem of internally displaced persons is to ensure their safe return to their native land. Armenia should withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with the requirements of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and ultimately ensure the return of the displaced Azerbaijani people to their native land and ensure their rights to use their property," Hajiyev said.
The head of the press service of the Foreign Ministry noted that, only in this case it is possible to ensure peace and stability in the region.
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.