By Akbar Mammadov
On May 28, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to the UK Tahir Taghizade responded the recent article published in the British Guardian newspaper on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights into the case of Ramil Safarov.
In his letter published in the same newspaper, the ambassador stressed that Nagorno-Karabakh is not a “disputed territory” as described in the recently published article about the case of Ramil Safarov.
"It is an integral, internationally recognised part of Azerbaijan which, together with seven other regions of Azerbaijan, has been occupied by Armenia for more than 25 years. More than a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs)."
Taghizade highlighted the fact that in 1993 the United Nations Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territory of Azerbaijan. These resolutions are yet to be implemented.
The letter also emphasized that Ramil Safarov was forcibly expelled as a child from his home town, Jabrayil, which is also under Armenian occupation.
"His extradition from Hungary – where he had already served eight years in prison – to Azerbaijan was done on a legal basis, and it is the constitutional right of the head of any sovereign state to pardon its citizens. While Azerbaijan is calling for justice for its refugees and IDPs, Armenia employs all instruments and platforms to solidify its occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories", Taghizade said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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