By Vafa Ismayilova
The Azerbaijani flag has been raised in the liberated from occupation Kalbajar city, the Defence Ministry has reported.
The ministry released video footage of the Azerbaijani military convoy moving in Kalbajar, the Azerbaijani flag waving on top of a building in the city centre and an officer with a group of about 15 soldiers behind him reporting to President Ilham Aliyev that the country's flag had already been raised in Kalbajar city.
The Armenians vacated Kalbajar region on 25 November under the trilateral agreement signed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on November 10.
Kalbajar was among seven Azerbaijani regions that got occupied by the Armenian armed forces during the first Karabakh war. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. In 1992, the Armenian armed forces occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Launching a large-scale military operation on March 27 in 1993, the Armenian armed forces finally occupied Kalbajar on April 2. As a result, 511 people were killed in Kalbajar, which has a territory of 1,936 square metres. Some 321 people were captured and went missing.
Armenian occupiers destroyed more than 500 industrial, construction, catering and retail facilities, 97 schools and 76 health facilities. Kalbajar region’s 53,340 residents became IDPs.
After Kalbajar’s occupation, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 822 demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Armenian troops from the region and other occupied areas of Azerbaijan. Along with this resolution, Armenia failed to fulfil all other three UN Security resolutions (853, 874 and 884) on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its troops from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.