By Rashid Shirinov
UN support for substantive negotiations on the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is highly appreciated, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at his meeting with UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenca.
The minister told Jenca about the Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan and the ensuing occupation of Azerbaijani lands, APA reports.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims against the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, the Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
Mammadyarov noted the role of the specialized UN agencies, in particular of the High Commissioner for Refugees, in preventing the humanitarian disaster that Azerbaijan faced due to the conflict, as well as solving the problems of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Today, all Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons wait for the final resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They are still unable to return to their homes in the occupied regions of Azerbaijan due to the Armenian aggression. Meanwhile, Armenia continues to ignore the implementation of four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions. Thus, the aggressor country plays for time in order to preserve the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh.
During the meeting, Mammadyarov also informed Jenca about the negotiation process on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He said that the Armenian armed forces should be fully and unconditionally withdrawn from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions, which form the basis of the conflict resolution.
Azerbaijan has long ago stated it is ready to settle the conflict through direct negotiations with Armenia through mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. However, the Armenian side is constantly trying to make up reasons to avoid substantive talks with Azerbaijan. Thus, the longstanding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict approaches its third decade of existence.