By Vafa Ismayilova
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on the member states to support Azerbaijan in the restoration of Karabakh, OIC Secretary General's Assistant for Economic Affairs Ahmad Kawesa Sengendo has said.
Sengendo made the remarks at a press conference dedicated to the results of the OIC Contact Group delegation's visit to Azerbaijan’s Aghdam region and Ganja city.
“The [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict has ended, but the process of restoring the territories of Azerbaijan liberated from Armenian occupation will take time,” he said.
He added that the organization will continue to support Azerbaijan.
"The OIC has always supported Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. This support is associated not only with the fact that Azerbaijan is a member of the OIC, but also with the country's fair position," he said.
Sengendo added that the OIC will continue to support the work on the restoration of the territories.
"We call on all members of the OIC to provide support,” he said.
The OIC official said that the work must be carried out to assess the damages caused to Azerbaijan's cultural monuments as a result of the Armenian aggression.
"Big damage has been caused to the cultural monuments of Azerbaijan. The OIC must convey this information to the world community and carry out the work to assess the damage," he said.
Mehmet Metin Eker, a member of the OIC Contact Group, said that after increasing international pressure, Armenia may give mine maps to Azerbaijan.
“The most serious problem in the restoration of the liberated territories and the return of people there is associated with the mine threat," he said.
Eker stressed that Armenia still refuses to hand over minefield maps.
"This will be discussed today when preparing a report following a trip to the liberated territories of Azerbaijan. By increasing international pressure on Armenia, it may give a map of minefields. We will focus on this issue," he noted.
The permanent representative to the OIC from Afghanistan, Shafiq Samim, spoke about Armenian destructions on Azerbaijan's liberated territories.
"In Aghdam, all settlements and mosques were destroyed. Besides, during our visit to Ganja, we saw the consequences of the bombing of civilians during the war," he said.
He stressed that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev informed the world about Armenia's aggression against th Azerbaijani nation before and during the war.
"We support the president’s position. I’ll make efforts to spread information about what I saw in the Afghan media," added Samim.
The Gambian deputy ambassador to the OIC, Abu Bakr Jah, also shared views about great destructions by Armenian on liberated lands.
“On Azerbaijan's liberated territories, we saw destroyed mosques, everything was ruined. Attempts were made to completely destroy life here, but this was not achieved. Life will be restored, here again, people will return to their homes,” he said.
Armenia must answer for its crimes
The deputy ambassador said that the perpetrators of crimes committed on Azerbaijani territories must answer before international justice.
Djibouti's permanent representative to the OIC, Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama, voiced similar opinions
"The OIC includes 57 countries. We visited the liberated territories for the first time and witnessed heavy destruction. Aghdam was razed to the ground," he said.
He said that during the trip, the delegation members also met people, who had been affected by the 44-day war.
“We visited Ganja and saw the destruction from Armenian missile strikes on the city (during the war). Our goal was to familiarize ourselves with the situation on the spot,” he added.
The OIC official noted that the organization will support Azerbaijan to restore Karabakh.
“The OIC will support Azerbaijan’s government in the restoration of the liberated territories. Contacts with members of the OIC to provide the necessary support to the country will continue. We are glad to the liberation of the Azerbaijani lands," added Bamakhrama.
Meanwhile, the head of Pakistan’s representative office in the OIC and other international organizations, Ambassador Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, said at the press conference that OIC Secretary-General Yousef Bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen will visit Azerbaijan on April 8, to show solidarity with Azerbaijan.
It should be noted that the visiting OIC delegation is holding a press conference in Baku to share their impressions of the trip to Aghdam region that was iberated from Armenian occupation in the 44-day war from late September to early November 2020 and the country's second-largest city of Ganja that was subjected to Armenia's missile attacks resulting in destructions of residential houses.
On April 6, 2021, the permanent representatives of the OIC Contact Group on the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan visited the above district and the city to familiarize themselves with the consequences of Armenia's war crimes, including ruins in Aghdam region as a result of the Armenian occupation during the first Karabakh war in the 1990s and Ganja city.
The hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed after that latter started firing at Azerbaijani civilians and military positions starting September 27, 2020. The war ended on November 10 with the signing of a trilateral peace deal by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders.
The peace agreement stipulated the return of Azerbaijan's Armenian-occupied Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin regions. Before the signing of the deal, the Azerbaijani army had liberated around 300 villages, settlements, city centres and historic Shusha city. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
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