Baku, Azerbaijan, May 8
The Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan has issued a statement on the 27th anniversary of the occupation of Shusha by the armed forces of Armenia, Trend reports May 8.
Commenting on the statement, deputy chairman of the Coordination Council of the Azerbaijani Community of the Nagorno-Karabakh Region of Azerbaijan, professor Elchin Ahmadov said that Armenians, occupying the historical lands of Azerbaijan over the past two hundred years, in order to create a “Great Armenia”, committed genocide, terrorism, deportation and ethnic cleansing against the people of Azerbaijan in 1905-1906, 1918-1920, 1948-1953, 1988-1993.
“In the second half of the 80s of the 20th century, Armenia made territorial claims to Azerbaijan regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is an integral part of Azerbaijan,” Ahmadov said. “At the same time, on December 1, 1989 the Soviet Socialist Republic of Armenia violated the sovereignty of Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, adopted the decision, joining the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (NKAO) to the Armenia SSR which was contrary to the Constitution of Azerbaijan. In 1988-1992, the armed forces of Armenia occupied over 30 settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh where Azerbaijanis lived. On February 26, 1992 Khojaly genocide which happened before the eyes of the whole world, was a bloody page of this occupation policy.”
“At the end of the 20th century Armenia, creating mono-ethnic state, occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli, outside of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and nowadays 20 percent of territory of Azerbaijan are under the occupation,” he noted. “All these territories underwent ethnic cleansing by Armenia. As a result of this occupation more than one million Azerbaijanis became IDPs from the occupied territories. In consequence, the occupation policy pursued by Armenians was accompanied by massacres, 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed, 50,000 persons became disabled getting injuries of various degrees.”
“Among these crimes 27 years ago - on May 8, 1992- as a result of the military aggression of the armed forces of Armenia, Shusha, an ancient centre of culture of Azerbaijan, and its 30 villages, were occupied and destroyed, 195 civilians were killed, 165 wounded, 43 lost, there is no information about the fate of 58 people,” Ahmadov added.
As a result, over 24,000 people of the population of the Shusha district became IDPs and live in 58 districts of Azerbaijan, he said.
He added that over 170 architectural monuments and 160 historical and cultural monuments in Shusha were destroyed, also historic monuments, mausoleum and mosques were desecrated, and many rare manuscripts were destroyed.
“Generally, in 1988-1993 as a result of Armenia's military aggression historical, architectural and religious monuments of Azerbaijan, including more than 600 historical and architectural monuments, 144 temples and 67 mosques were completely destroyed by the armed forces of Armenia,” he said. “At the same time, 40,000 exhibits of 22 museums, 4,600 books and valuable historical manuscripts from 927 libraries, were destroyed as well as precious examples of historical heritage of Azerbaijan were stolen from museums and later sold at different auctions.”
On the 27th anniversary of the occupation of Shusha by the armed forces of Armenia, more than 80,000 Azerbaijanis of Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as well as 34,000 Azerbaijanis of Shusha district urge international community to support Azerbaijan’s justified position in achieving objective political and legal assessment of the ongoing acts of aggression against the Azerbaijani people, he noted.
“We urge the international community and international organizations to put an end to the destruction of the historical, architectural and religious monuments of Azerbaijan, and this occupation,” he said. “We demand from all international organizations to carry out humanism ideas, and take effective measures in order to expose the occupation policy of Armenia. At the same time, for the voice of more than one million people to be heard, and for the restoration of the violated rights of the Azerbaijanis, the criminal acts of Armenians must be internationally condemned.”
“We believe that the fair settlement of the conflict is possible after the withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories and returning of more than 80,000 Azerbaijanis expelled from the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan to the native lands,” he added. “We believe that the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh will live in peace and reconciliation within the borders and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Only in this case, sustainable and fair peace can be provided 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.