Nagorno-Karabakh: - The occupation must end

Nagorno-Karabakh: The occupation must end

 Over recent years, the Armenian assaults against the Azeri civilians, residents of the villages along the line of contact, have considerably intensified.

Armenia opted to use heavy artillery, mortars and large-calibre machine guns, which had not been recorded in the first decade of the ceasefire.

Constant provocations and escalations of the situation by Armenia undermined the peace process - within the framework of the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group - aiming to freeze the current status quo and prepare the ground for the future formal annexation.
On April 2, Armenia launched the heaviest ever assault since the 1994 ceasefire agreement, firing at the positions of the Azerbaijani army along the entire frontline and specifically targeting civilians in the densely populated areas. As a result, a number of civilians were killed and seriously wounded, and substantial damages were inflicted upon the private and public properties.

By doing so, Armenia once again exposed its intention to escalate the situation and sabotage the peace process.

Through the Armenian aggression and ethnic cleansing policy, 20 percent of the internationally recognised Azerbaijani territory (Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts) were occupied by Armenia, and more than one million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their ancestral lands.
Armenia committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the massacres in Khojaly in 1992, which Azerbaijanis consider genocide. By pursuing its military build-up in the occupied territories, illegally changing demography through illegal settlement policy, altering the centuries-old toponyms and destroying cultural heritage in the occupied lands, Armenia tries to "legitimise" its presence in the occupied territories and make the de facto annexation irreversible.

This proves that Yerevan is not genuinely interested in seeking political settlement of the armed conflict.

Azerbaijan has repeatedly brought to the attention of the international community that the illegal presence of Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan provokes further escalation of situation, and poses a threat to regional peace and stability.

In order to achieve progress in the peace process, first and foremost, the armed forces of Armenia must be withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognised borders must be ensured.

The international community has consistently deplored, in the strongest terms, the use of force by Armenia against Azerbaijan and the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories.

The fundamental basis for the conflict settlement is outlined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993), 874 (1993) and 884 (1993) and the UN General Assembly resolution 62/243 (2008), which condemn the use of force against Azerbaijan, and the occupation of its territories, as well as reaffirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the inviolability of its internationally recognised borders.

According to those resolutions, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is an inalienable part of Azerbaijan while Armenia is called upon to withdraw its forces from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan immediately, completely and unconditionally.

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The military occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan is not tolerable. The sooner Armenia reconciles with this reality, the sooner the conflict will be resolved and the countries and peoples in the region will benefit from the prospects of cooperation and economic development.

In order to restore peace and stability in the Caucasus region, the international community must demand Armenia cease the illegal occupation of Azerbaijan's territories, withdraw its troops from all seized lands and engage constructively in the conflict settlement process in the spirit and language of the adopted resolutions and norms and principles of international law.


Vugar Seidov is a political analyst and representative of AzerTAG in Germany. He holds a PhD in History from Moscow University and MPhil in international relations from Cambridge university.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.


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