By Akbar Mammadov
Armenia violates all principles of international law related to the protection and management of water resources in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and at the transboundary level, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a joint statement with the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry on September 15.
“The latest open provocative activities of the Armenian leadership, including the recent ecological terrorism show that the aggressor country in addition to grossly violating international law and fundamental human rights continues to be a serious threat to peace and security in the region,” the statement reads.
Furthermore, the ministries stressed that the hostile attitude towards nature and environmental terror in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and surrounding districts of Azerbaijan currently occupied by Armenia poses a serious threat to the environment of the entire region.
“As a result of the heavy pollution of trans-boundary rivers by Armenia, there is a great threat to the survival of wildlife in these rivers,” said the statement.
Thus, the ministries pointed out that at the same time, the use of reservoirs in the occupied territories has become impossible and a potential source of danger for the population living in the surrounding areas due to lack of maintenance.
“Armenia's non-participation in the UN Convention on the "Protection and Use of Trans-boundary Watercourses and International Lakes" makes it impossible to resolve transboundary water issues within the framework of international norms.”
The statement also reads that resolution No. 2085, adopted in 2016 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on deliberate deprivation of the residents of Azerbaijan's border regions of water, reflecting the demand of immediate withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the mentioned region and ensuring investigation of independent engineers and hydrologists on the spot, has not been implemented.
The statement said that on the contrary, Armenia has expanded its activities in this direction.
“In recent days, the blockage of the Indjasu River, which runs through the village of Dovekh in the Tavush region of Armenia and flows into the reservoir in the village of Kemerli in the Gazakh region, has deprived the local population of water.”
The ministries emphasized that this situation, which is a serious violation of the principles of international law and human rights, also poses serious challenges to the implementation of internationally accepted instruments, including the obligations under the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“We call on the international community to strongly condemn the illegal activity of Armenia and take urgent measures to prevent such unlawful actions of the aggressor state,” the statement concludes.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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