Details added first version published on 11:29
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 14
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed strong protest to the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (OSCE MG) regarding the resettlement of Armenians from Lebanon to Nagorno-Karabakh region, Trend reports referring to the ministry.
"Recently, the videos have been spread on social networks demonstrating the continuation of the policy of illegal settlement by Armenia in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region and surrounding areas of Azerbaijan," said the MFA.
"After the explosion in Beirut, Armenia, using the tragedy in this country for its own nefarious purposes, began to implement plans to resettle Lebanese Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas which are internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan and currently under military occupation. This illegal activity is a gross violation of the norms and principles of international law by Armenia, including the Geneva Convention of 1949 and its additional protocols, as well as the obligations assumed by Armenia itself," the MFA noted.
“The purpose of Armenia, which pursues a policy of illegal settlement, is clear. This way, it is trying to strengthen the results of ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, the status quo based on occupation,” said the ministry.
“Armenia, which is trying to artificially increase the number of Armenians here by illegally resettling the ethnic Armenians who have nothing to do with the region to the currently occupied lands of Azerbaijan, has been preventing the return of the Azerbaijani IDPs forcefully expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas and whose human rights have been violated, to their homes and properties for nearly 30 years,” the foreign ministry stressed.
The Armenian leadership, which seeks to escalate tensions in the region and has recently openly demonstrated this with its provocative actions and statements, is undermining the negotiated settlement of the conflict with its policy of annexation, noted the MFA.
“The international community will be regularly informed about the illegal activities carried out in our territories occupied by Armenia, including the illegal resettlement policy, and our efforts aimed at putting an end to this illegal practice will continue within international organizations,” the ministry emphasized.
“We call on the international community to take practical steps to hold accountable the Armenian government, which keeps the Azerbaijani territories under occupation and carrying out illegal activities in these lands,” the MFA said.
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, 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 the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.