Baku, Azerbaijan, July 11
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, during an informal OSCE ministerial meeting in Slovakia, stated that Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is related to people and raised the issue of protecting the rights of people living there.
In this regard, spokesperson of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva made a statement for Trend.
She said that if the Armenian minister, speaking about human rights in the occupied Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, really believes in his words about the protection of human rights and democracy in the OSCE area, and wants to make real steps in this direction, then he should remember the violation of fundamental rights of the hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons who have been subjected to ethnic cleansing in the occupied Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, which to this day remain under military occupation of the Armenian armed forces.
“Human rights are universal, they are indivisible, and there should be no discrimination in this matter,” Abdullayeva said. “Why the Armenian minister, who is telling about the rights of the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh, doesn’t speak of gross violation of the right of the Azerbaijani community of this region to live in their homes? Of course, we and the entire international community, know the answer to this question. The rights of one group of people cannot be ensured by violating the rights of another group of people.”
“Only the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani territories and the return of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons to their homes can create favorable conditions for resolving a number of substantive issues related to the conflict’s settlement, as well as issues of peaceful residence and the rights of both Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh,” she added.
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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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