Azerbaijani MP, Vice-President of the Free Democrats Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Ganira Pashayeva raised the issue in PACE regarding deportation of Azerbaijanis from their ancestral lands - the territory of present-day Armenia in 1948 and 1988.
Pashayeva stressed that 100 years have already passed since the ancient Azerbaijani city of Irevan was forcibly taken away from Azerbaijan and transferred to Armenia.
“By using the archival materials of Czarist Russia, Russian researcher N. Shavrov studied the process of settling of the Armenians in the South Caucasus,” she added.
“In the book entitled “New Threat to the Russian Case in the Caucasus” published in 1911 Shavrov stressed that one million people out of 1,300,000 Armenians who lived in the region at the beginning of the 20th century accounts for newcomers and resettled here by the Russians themselves,” Pashayeva said.
“On the map of the Transcaucasus, published in Moscow in 1931, 78.1 percent of the geographical names on the territory of Armenia were of Azerbaijani origin and only 3.45 percent were of Armenian origin,” she added.
"However, pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing for many years, along with forcible expulsion of Azerbaijanis from their historical lands, Armenian officials destroyed cultural and historical monuments belonging to Azerbaijanis and renamed the names of places,” Pashayeva said.
“We must not forget the forcible expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis from their houses in Armenia in 1948 and the 70th anniversary of the deportation,” she said.
“The Azerbaijanis who survived this terrible tragedy could not return to their homes,” Pashayeva added. “And the fact that the international community did not have the serious pressure on these grave crimes committed by the Armenian leadership, laid the foundation for new crimes.”
Pashayeva stressed that in 1988 the Armenian leadership, pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing, forcibly drove all Azerbaijanis from their houses.
Pashayeva stressed that up till now Armenia does not recognize the right of tens of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees to return to their houses.
She called on PACE to keep those issues on the agenda and to hear those people.
"They urge you to support the protection of their violated rights,” Pashayeva said. “Armenia, pursuing a policy of ethnic cleansing, not only did not stop to expel all Azerbaijanis from their homeland, but also destroyed all cultural and historical monuments and cemeteries belonging to Azerbaijanis.”
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.