Azerbaijan, Baku, June 17 / Trend K. Zarbaliyeva /
Armenians cause serious damage to the environment in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Minister of Environment and Natural Resources said.
"The Sarsang reservoir, located in the occupied territories, is designed for irrigation, but Armenians are using it for other purposes. They let the water out in spring, provoking flooding and endangering people's lives. During the flood of Kura and Araz rivers, Armenians let the water out of reservoirs, " Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Huseyngulu Bagirov, said at the Eighth International Ombudsman Conference "Human Rights and Environment: legal and ethic aspects of climatic change" dedicated to Human Rights Day and the Year of the Ecology.
Flood of Kura and Araz rivers and rainfall triggered flooding in 40 regions of Azerbaijan. As a result of the disaster, about 20,000 houses were flooded, more than 300 destroyed, 2,000 were in emergency condition, 50,000 hectares of cultivated land were under water.
The waters of transboundary rivers Kura and Araz are contaminated in the territories of Armenia and Georgia.
"The pastures, forests, lands are deliberately set on fire on the front lines. Kura and Araz rivers are polluted with industrial waste from the territory of Armenia and household waste - from the territory of Georgia. The presence of heavy metals in these rivers exceeds the permitted limit by 5-10 times," Minister said.
The conflict between the two
South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the
OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the
U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.