The Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region has issued a statement expressing protest in connection with the visit of teachers from France’s University of Lille to Karabakh, the community made a statement.
With the organization of “Free Homeland Party” formed by the self-proclaimed regime in Nagorno-Karabakh, a group of teachers and professors of France’s University of Lille made an illegal visit to the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia, reads the statement.
“According to information spread in the Armenian media, the delegation included scientists specializing in various fields,” the statement said. “During the illegal visit, employees of the University of Lille also visited “Shusha University of Technology” and made statements about future ties.”
“The Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region states that it estimates the illegal visit of teachers and professors of the University of Lille, which has long traditions, to the occupied Azerbaijani territories as extreme irresponsibility and disrespect for international law,” reads the statement. “In addition, this visit seriously undermines the reputation of the university, which has scientific discoveries in the field of electronics and nanotechnology of global significance. How is it possible that teachers and professors of such university are unaware of where they were taken?”
“Most importantly, are the teachers and professors of the university aware of France’s position on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and do they know that Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan’s integral part?” the community said in its statement. “If not, then this is truly shameful. However, if professors of the University of Lille make an illegal visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, being aware of France’s official position, then this is also disrespect to the official position of their country.”
The document also notes that, on the other hand, France, as a co-chairing country of the OSCE Minsk Group, carries out a mediation mission between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“In this case, the illegal visit of teachers and professors of the University of Lille to Nagorno-Karabakh, also casts doubt on the status of an impartial mediator of this country at the negotiations,” reads the statement. “We, the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, also express our protest to the leadership of the University of Lille. We believe that the leadership of this university will take serious measures in connection with this visit, which is considered an insult to human rights of Azerbaijani residents expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh and won’t allow recurrence of such acts.”
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 withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.