FM: Enablİng safe return of Azerbaİjanİ refugees, IDPs must be at center of İnt’l efforts
APA. Enabling safe and dignified return of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs must be at the center of international efforts, said Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
He made the remarks addressing at the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting on the theme of “Countering Xenophobia through Fostering Inclusive Dialogue”.
Mammadyarov noted that promoting intercultural cultural dialogue, tolerance and countering violent extremism have gained increased importance in the context of large movement of refugees and migrants.
Azerbaijan has deep understanding of this problem given the fact that we have one million refugees and IDPs ethnically cleansed out of their homes, he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includesNagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam,Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCEMinsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.