USA allocates $2m for demining in Azerbaijan’s war-torn Karabakh region
By Vugar Khalilov
The USA has allocated some $2 million for demining activities in Azerbaijan’s war-torn Karabakh region, Azernews reports, citing the US Department of State.
“To promote regional peace and cooperation, the United States is pleased to announce $2,000,000 for humanitarian demining operations in areas affected by the fall 2020 intensive fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the South Caucasus,” the statement reads.
It stresses that landmines and unexploded ordnance continue to kill and maim civilians, stymie economic growth, and obstruct the safe return of displaced people across the combat zone.
“Building on the $500,000 announced in November 2021, new U.S. funding will continue to strengthen the technical capacity of demining organizations to clear deadly landmines and unexploded ordnance. These efforts play a critical role in bolstering human security and enabling displaced communities to return to their homes and rebuild their lives safely,” the statement adds.
Since 1993, as the world’s largest single financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction, the United States has invested over $4.7 billion in over 100 nations to promote international peace and security by addressing the hazards that landmines and unexploded ordnance pose to human lives.
Furthermore, Vugar Suleymanov, Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency chairman will pay a visit to the United States on September 12-16.
Meetings and round tables will be held with a number of important institutions during the visit to raise awareness about the current mine threats in Azerbaijan, as well as to draw attention to the rehabilitation activities to bring life back to these regions, and to obtain possible support in this regard.
The delegation includes representatives of the Secretariat of the Interdepartmental Center under the Coordination Headquarters for the centralized solution of issues in Azerbaijan's liberated regions, as well as the officials of the Foreign Ministry.
In the postwar period, the United States sponsored ANAMA's numerous key programs through appropriate international organizations aimed at clearing the territories of mines and explosive ordnance.
Meetings with government agencies and non-governmental organizations in the US will help to consolidate international efforts to eliminate the problem of landmines, promote regional stability, and ensure long-term peace.
All cities, including hundreds of towns, settlements, public and private properties, and countless infrastructural facilities, were entirely destroyed as a result of the Armenian invasion and occupation of Azerbaijani territory for about three decades.
Everything on these lands was destroyed not only during the war but also during the occupation period. Simultaneously, Armenia deliberately and persistently laid mines on Azerbaijani territory, in violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention, posing a significant danger to regional peace, security, and cooperation.
Currently, the demining activities, as well as large-scale reconstruction work are underway in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories.
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