By Rashid Shirinov
Armenians created a state on the historical lands of Azerbaijan with the help of tsarist Russia and the former Soviet government, Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Refugees and IDPs, said on January 8.
He spoke about the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, its historical roots and the reasons for its occurrence during his meeting with the head of the EU delegation to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas.
“There was the Irevan Khanate on the lands that they call Yerevan, and 95 percent of those who lived there at the beginning of the 19th century were Azerbaijanis,” Hasanov reminded. “But this was not enough for them. Gradually, other our territories were occupied – former USSR gifted Zangezur and Goycha Mahals to the Armenians.”
He noted that the Azerbaijanis living in their native lands in Armenia were deported four times during the last 100 years.
“The last deportation was carried out during the reign of Gorbachev. In fact, this was not deportation, but an ethnic cleansing,” Hasanov said.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have 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 result of the large-scale hostilities.
To this day, Armenia has not implemented decisions and resolutions adopted by numerous international organizations, such as the UN Security Council, OSCE, European Parliament, PACE, OIC, on a just settlement of the conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
“The OSCE Minsk Group, which has been dealing with this issue for over twenty-five years, has not achieved any effective results,” Hasanov stressed.
He also noted that the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev prefers the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and always conducts an independent policy.
“Azerbaijan is interested in ensuring stability, peace in the region and developing cooperation. First of all, the resolutions of international organizations must be fulfilled, and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be ensured,” said Hasanov.
The deputy prime minister further noted that Armenia intensively violates the negotiation process: “The Armenian government does not want the conflict to be resolved and continues to adhere to an unconstructive position.”
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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