By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Nagorno-Karabakh’s Azerbaijani community has criticized Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov over his statement made in Yerevan.
“Statements voiced by Sergey Lavrov at the briefing are regrettable because he doesn’t emphasize the right to return to their homes of over a million Azerbaijani refugees from the Nagorno-Karabakh region and Azerbaijan’s seven surrounding districts,” the community said in statement published in the local media on November 15.
The Azerbaijani Community were unhappy about Lavrov’s use of “people of Nagorno-Karabakh” concept, the same concept promoted by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to mislead the international community.
The Azerbaijani Community explained that legal documents related to the conflict never reflected “people of Nagorno-Karabakh” concept.
“There is population of Nagorno-Karabakh, which consisted of the Azerbaijani and Armenian people before the conflict, and they have equal rights. As a result of the conflict, the entire Azerbaijani population was expelled from Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as from seven other regions of Azerbaijan. In other words, ethnic cleansing was carried out,” the statement reads.
The Community reminded that in 2019, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, that also includes Russia, made two visits to the region and in their final statements on the visits noted that they met with the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh.
"We, as the Azerbaijani community of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region, once again declare that over 80,000 Azerbaijani members of our community are waiting for the day when we return to our homes. We expect co-chairing states mediating the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as influential international organizations to take a fair position. Only after that, peace will be established in Nagorno-Karabakh, and, as before, Azerbaijanis and Armenians will be able to live in peaceful conditions within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders," the statement reads.
The community reiterated Azerbaijan’s position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity must be restored in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolution and the Helsinki Final Act.
The community mentioned that President Aliyev in his speech at the plenary session of the 16th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi city in October, clarified this issue by saying that the concept of “the people of Nagorno-Karabakh” does not exist.
Baku seeks to ensure equal access to negotiations of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the region.
Karabakh’s Azerbaijani community which was subjected to ethnic cleansing and expulsion from their lands, has the legal right to participate in determining the future legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan’s breakaway region which along with seven surrounding regions came under occupation of Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. So far, Armenia has failed to implement four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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