By Rashid Shirinov
Time has come to move from concept to action in resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Hikmat Hajiyev made the remark while talking to reporters, who visited the liberated Jojug Merjanli village of Azerbaijani Jabrayil region, on February 7.
"Although international organizations and mediators are involved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for over 20 years, the Azerbaijani lands remaining under the occupation have not still been released," the spokesman said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia for over two decades have been locked in conflict, which emerged over Armenian territorial claims. Since the 1990s war, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal, but they have not been enforced to this day.
Hajiyev further added that thanks to the political will of President Ilham Aliyev, the safe return of internally displaced persons to the territories liberated from the Armenian occupation is now ensured.
“We believe that this project, which is carried out in accordance with the presidential decree on the restoration of Jojug Merjanli village, will be pilot in the process of returning IDPs to their homes, and will be taken into account by the international organizations,” Hajiyev said.
The spokesman added that the project is supported by the international community: “UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other international organizations have demonstrated their resolute will in this matter.”
On January 24, President Ilham Aliyev ordered to restore Jojug Marjanli village in Jabrayil region of Azerbaijan, which was liberated from the Armenian occupation in April 2016 as a result of a successful counter-attack of the Azerbaijani Army.
Under the order, 4 million manats ($2.05 million) were allocated from the President`s 2017 Contingency Fund to the State Committee on Deals of Refugees and IDPs for the construction of 50 private houses, a school building and relevant infrastructure at the first stage.
More than 190 families out of 400 families, who once lived in the village, have already expressed desire to return to their homeland. The construction work in the village will begin soon, as first 50 families out of 190 will be settled in this village at the first stage.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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