By carrying out illegal activity in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, Armenia aims to preserve the status quo in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Deputy Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said.
He made the remarks Nov. 17 at an international conference entitled “Illegal activity in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and the responsibility of third parties” in Baku.
Hajiyev reminded that Armenia carries out illegal activity in the occupied Azerbaijani territories as part of the occupation and aggression policy conducted against Azerbaijan.
He said that this illegal activity is of purposeful and biased nature and is aimed at annexing the occupied lands.
“The illegal activity in the occupied Azerbaijani territories creates very serious problems in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and that’s the purpose and intention of Armenia,” said Hajiyev.
He noted that the illegal activity in the occupied Azerbaijani territories is carried out in several directions.
“The first and one of the most important problems is that a purposeful settlement policy is carried out in these territories, that is, the demographic situation is purposefully being changed,” he said. “Secondly, natural resources, in particular mineral resources, are looted in the occupied territories, illegal and non-transparent financial and economic activities are carried out, money laundering is taking place.”
The illegal activity is associated with changes in infrastructure in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, including the operation of Azerbaijan’s telecommunications networks and the conduct of illegal telecommunications activities, changes in the cultural character of the occupied lands, looting, destruction of the material and cultural heritage belonging to the Azerbaijani people, as well as changing the features of the existing material, cultural and religious monuments by representing them as Armenian ones, he added.
“One type of illegal activity is propaganda of the occupied Azerbaijani territories as a tourism destination and organizing illegal visits to these territories,” he said. “Thus, such goals as encouraging and legitimizing the illegal regime created as a result of the occupation and aggression by Armenia are pursued.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz