The international organisations should consider the significance of the fulfilment of the decisions and resolutions on the legal settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, particularly United Nations Security Council resolutions, said Leyla Abdullayeva, Head of Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan while commenting on the latest report released by International Crisis Group (ICG).
"First of all, I would like to note that we, of course, welcome the International Crisis Group for keeping on the agenda important issues related to the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In fact, the latest report of the ICG does not reflect any new problems, only drawing attention to important issues that Azerbaijan has already raised for many years," she said.
Abdullayeva noted that the issue of Armenia’s illegal resettlement policy in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas was repeatedly raised by Azerbaijan at the international level, as well as during meetings with the Armenian side, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
"The illegal resettlement policy pursued by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, to the detriment of Yerevan’s own international obligations, including the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, is reflected in the reports of OSCE missions on establishing these facts in the occupied territories of our country. Thus, the OSCE mission to establish these facts in 2005, and the field assessment mission in 2010, confirmed the implementation of the policy of organizing illegal settlements in our occupied territories," said the spokesperson.
Abdullaeva said the latest ICG report also notes the continuation of this illegal activity in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories. "I would also like to note that the legal evidence of the implementation of the resettlement policy in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in 2015 in the case of "Chiragov and Others v. Armenia". This decision, which was made in favor of Azerbaijani citizens expelled from the Lachin region of our country, also reflected the problem of the ongoing illegal resettlement in these territories. Of course, after implementation of the steps towards the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, this problem will also find its solution. But until then, Azerbaijan will consistently raise these issues in the framework of relevant international formats," she said.
As for the deployment of international peacekeeping mission in the occupied territories and the role of the OSCE High Level Planning Group in this process, she pointed out that the security of the people who should live in the now occupied territories, including the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities, is very important for Azerbaijan.
"For this reason, we advocate for a risk assessment mission by OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs with participation of relevant international experts. Regarding the status issue covered in the report, it should be recalled that in general, this status has already been determined in the framework of the national legislation of Azerbaijan and international law, including UN Security Council resolutions based on the fundamental norms and principles reflected in the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act. And our position on this issue remains unchanged. After the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from our occupied lands and the return of the Azerbaijani population expelled from there to their homes, at the next stages of the settlement process, the concrete status of the region can be considered with the participation of both of its communities," Abdullayeva said.
She stressed that these problems should be regulated within the framework of the conflict resolution process in accordance with relevant OSCE decisions, as well as in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions which have no time limits, up to the moment of their implementation.
"The reports of international organizations on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should take into account the need to implement these decisions and resolutions, which constitute the legal basis for resolving the conflict, primarily UN Security Council resolutions. And their implementation is only a matter of time," she 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, 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.