By Rashid Shirinov
Armenia, continuing the occupation of 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories, violates the regional security and stability, said Ogtay Asadov, Azerbaijan’s Parliamentary Speaker.
He made the remarks while addressing the 25th summit of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization in Istanbul said on May 22.
Asadov noted that Azerbaijan has more than a million refugees and IDPs, further stating that the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia impedes the regional cooperation.
“Unfortunately, one of the BSEC member states doesn’t give up its dangerous ideology and continues to demonstrate intolerance and aggression. This ideology of Armenia is turning it into a mono-ethnic country and depriving it and the region of development opportunities,” he said.
Asadov accused Armenia of ignoring the rule of international law and UN Security Council’s four resolutions that demand an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
“Therefore, I would like to assure everyone that the primitive thinking of the Armenian leadership that the use of force could promote good-neighborly relations is a figment of a sick imagination,” said Asadov, adding that Azerbaijan will undoubtedly restore its territorial integrity in accordance with the norms of international law.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.
Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.
Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. within the OSCE Minsk Group have produced no results so far.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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