By Akbar Mammadov
Armenia deceives the international community by seeking to conceal the fact that it expelled Azerbaijani civilians from the Nagrono-Karabakh region that it is occupying, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Ramiz Hasanov said during the 43rd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 26.
“Armenia deliberately misrepresents the principle of self-determination calling for its application only for Armenian ethnic group living in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, and deliberately concealing the fact that all Azerbaijanis have already been expelled by Armenia from this region [Nagorno-Karabakh] through the use of force,” Hasanov said.
The official emphasized that “There is no such notion as a “people of Nagorno-Karabakh”, but there is an Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh, alongside with the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh. Under these circumstances holding the so-called elections in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan violates the international law”
He stated that the Armenian authorities lack genuine interest in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and this impedes the conflict resolution. This unwillingness to solve the conflict runs counter to Armenian claims that it wants peace.
Hasanov said that any solution to this conflict which will be achieved as a result of peaceful negotiation must provide preservation of internationally recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
“The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is acknowledged by the whole world, and the sooner the government of Armenia recognizes the lack of any prospect for its self-destructive political agenda towards its neighbours, the sooner the people of Armenia will be able to benefit from peace and economic development,” Hasanov said.
Hasanov also said that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has blatantly violated the international law and the UN Charter and the Human Rights Council’s resolutions with his policies aimed at annexing Azerbaijan’s occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region to Armenia.
The official reminded that the UN Security Council Resolutions and documents of other international organizations support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and these resolutions demand the immediate, complete withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Azerbaijani lands.
“Today Azerbaijan commemorates the 28th anniversary of one of the darkest pages of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – the Khojaly Genocide recognized by an increasing number of countries. It was on this day in 1992, that 613 residents of this small town in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan were brutally killed by Armenian military simply because they were Azerbaijanis – the fact that has been later admitted by the then president [Serzh Sargsyan] of Armenia himself. In this regard, Azerbaijan urges the Council, its mandate holders and the High Commissioner to take a principled stand and relevant actions for restoration of human rights of Azerbaijani IDPs and refugees that remain violated for almost 30 years.” Hasanov said.
Furthermore, the official reiterated Azerbaijan’s commitment to increasing co-operation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Addressing the 43rd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Ramiz Hasanov said that in recent years, Azerbaijan has strengthened its partnership with the Office and is also actively engaging with the Human Rights Council.
“Azerbaijan has assumed the Chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement at its recent Summit held in Baku,” the deputy minister said. “During its Chairmanship, Azerbaijan will build its priorities around the Bandung principles and in particular will continue advocating for the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights.”
The deputy minister also emphasized that the significance of adopting a constructive approach to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms is recognized as important as by Azerbaijan. “Ambitious and long-ranging reforms are presently carried out in Azerbaijan aimed at further strengthening of democracy, rule of law, and promotion and protection of human rights,” Hasanov added.
“We support all countries to concentrate on genuine dialogue and cooperation with each other,” he said.