Azerbaijan says Armeniaâ€™s illegal actions in occupied lands contrary to intâ€™l law
- 27 December 2016
Armenia’s steps to carry out illegal activities in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and settle Armenians living abroad in those areas run contrary to international law, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told reporters on Tuesday.
He was commenting on an Iranian company signing a contract with the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh on repairing a mosque in the Azerbaijani city of Shusha occupied by Armenia.
Khalafov noted that the activities of any country, individual or legal entity in the occupied Azerbaijani territories are illegal.
“They can be prosecuted according to the laws of Azerbaijan. This is a sensitive matter,” he said. “If it’s a company, sanctions can be imposed, if it’s an individual, there can be restrictions or legal actions can be taken.”
The deputy minister stressed that Azerbaijan’s international borders are recognized and respected by all the countries it cooperates with.
“We protect our rights, touching on this problem in our contact and cooperation with world countries,” Khalafov said.
He noted that Azerbaijan has repeatedly warned citizens and legal entities of other countries about the possible consequences of involvement in illegal activities in the occupied territories.
“This applies not only the region, but also to all countries,” he added.
According to him, the intergovernmental documents Azerbaijan signed with other countries also reflect the inadmissibility of economic activities in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and emphasize the importance of respect for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.
“Under these obligations, these countries should warn their companies and individuals about the possible consequences of involvement in illegal activities in the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Some persons may ignore the warning, but nevertheless they are responsible under the laws of Azerbaijan,” Khalafov added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.