Armenian politician calls for return of occupied lands to Azerbaijan

3 August 2018 11:00 (UTC+04:00)

By Naila Huseynli

Member of the Armenian National Congress Zoya Tadevosyan stated the necessity of Armenia's withdrawing from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan. She made this statement during the recent meeting with reporters.

Tadevosyan noted that the occupied seven regions around Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenian side calls “liberated” territories must be returned to Azerbaijan if the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict requires this, the Armenian media reported.  

“In fact, you are well aware, and everyone understands in this audience that those are occupied territories,” she said.  

The Armenian politician stated that the territories occupied during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are not the territories of "Karabakh".

In reply to the journalists' question whether this statement means that these territories are occupied, Tadevosyan answered with the question: “Are these the Armenian lands?”

As to question whether she thinks that they should be returned, Tadevosyan stated that “None of you need to take offense at me, but I do not decide this. This issue has always been raised by [OSCE Minsk Group] co-chairs, and generally discussed at the negotiating table. Dear journalist, do not take offense at me and demand something for which I am not responsible for. If the issue is about the settlement through the return of territories, then, of course, this is correct.”

Tadevosyan commented on the fact that the Armenian side considers these territories to be "liberated" and not occupied.  She stated that this is the position of the Armenian side, while the international community holds a different opinion on this issue, considering them captured or occupied.

On another question, whether she asked the opinion of the people of the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh about this issue, Tadevosyan responded: “I did not ask anyone about anything, I'm stating the fact.”

Earlier, the leader of the Armenian National Congress party that Tadevosyan represents now, Levon Ter-Petrosyan lost his presidential post because of his views on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

Armenia still remembers Ter-Petrosyan's speech at the ANC congress in December 2016, when he said that delaying the settlement of the conflict will further weaken Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and the next decision will be even worse than what is on the table today.

Armenia occupied 20 percent territory of Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. Dozens were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the Armenia's armed aggression.

The ceasefire in 1994 froze the conflict. Unfortunately, Armenia continues to violate four UN Security council resolutions on immediate withdrawal of its armed forces from occupied territory including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan.

Negotiation and mediation efforts have failed to produce a permanent solution to the conflict due to Armenia's unconstructive position on the issue.