The statement was made on the 25th anniversary of the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Zangilan district.
“On October 29, 1993, in the course of the military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the Zangilan district with a total area of 730 square kilometers, outside the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region of Azerbaijan, was occupied by the armed forces of Armenia,” reads the statement. “Zangilan, which came under siege after occupation of Jabrayil and other surrounding districts, resisted the aggression for more than two months. As a result of the aggression, the population of the Zangilan district consisting of 85 settlements was subjected to ethnic cleansing.”
“Many dwelling houses, industrial and agricultural, infrastructure facilities in the fields of education, healthcare and culture, including the museum of history with collections of ancient monuments, were destroyed,” the statement said. “Armenia seriously damaged the state and private property located in the district. Presently, 45,000 residents of the Zangilan district reside in different districts of Azerbaijan as IDPs.”
“Like in other occupied territories, in the Zangilan district, Armenia carries out the policy of ruining, falsifying, vandalizing and changing the characteristics of the material-cultural and historical heritage of the people of Azerbaijan,” reads the statement. “In this regard such archaeological sites as jug burials between the villages of Yukhary and Orta Yemazli of the I millennium BC, the ruins of the historic settlement of Shahri-Sharifan of the 13th-14th centuries in the village of Sharifan, the Gyz Galasy monument in the village of Amirkhanly, dating back to the 12th century, the tomb of Yahya ibn-Muhammad Al-Hajj of 1304-1305 in the Mammadbayli village, as well as a number of the Caucasian-Albanian churches, numerous mosques, etc. can be noted.”
“Armenia, grossly violating the obligations imposed on it by the Geneva Conventions, continues to commit such unlawful acts as change of geographical names in Zangilan district, the looting of property there and burning of territories,” the statement noted.
“Especially, illegal resettlement of Armenian population, including the persons of Armenian origin from Syria is carried out in this area. The plans of Armenia to build a new, the third in a row road via the territory of the Zangilan district in order to create additional connection between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh region clearly demonstrates the intentions of this aggressor country to annex the occupied Azerbaijani territories.”
“UN Security Council resolution 884 strongly condemned the occupation of the Zangilan district of Azerbaijan and expressed serious concern over the humanitarian emergency on Azerbaijan’s southern frontier as well as the expulsion of a large number of civilians from their places of permanent residence,” the statement said.
“The resolution demanded the withdrawal of the occupation forces unilaterally from the Zangilan district and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with the "Adjusted timetable of urgent steps to implement Security Council resolutions 822 (1993) and 853 (1993)". Although the UN Security Council resolutions contain an unequivocal demand for the withdrawal of the occupation forces, Armenia has not complied yet with these requirements.”
“Only withdrawal of the Armenian troops from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories and the change in the status quo created as a result of the occupation can open the way for political settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, comprehensive regional cooperation and contribute to ensuring sustainable peace,” reads the statement.
“Azerbaijan, supporting the intensification of international efforts for soonest resolution of the conflict retains the right to restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders and the violated rights of its citizens,” the statement 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.