Armenia escalating dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijani leader tells UN

23 September 2010

Armenia favours escalation over negotiating a durable solution to the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the President of Azerbaijan said at the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today.

Armenia favours escalation over negotiating a durable solution to the conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the President of Azerbaijan said at the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate today.

An autonomous region during Soviet times, Nagorno-Karabakh – which is part of Azerbaijan’s territory but is occupied by Armenian forces – has been at the centre of a dispute between the neighbouring countries since they became independent in the early 1990s.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev told world leaders at UN Headquarters today that Armenia “gives preference to escalation with unpredictable consequences.”

The Security Council, he said, has adopted four resolutions and expressed its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, he noted. The 15-member body has also recognized that Nagorno-Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, calling for the immediate withdrawal of occupying forces.

The Assembly and other international organizations – such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) – have also taken a similar position, Mr. Aliyev said.

“Despite ongoing political efforts towards the earliest resolution of the conflict, activities in the occupied areas of Azerbaijan are in gross violation with international law,” he stressed.

The President told the Assembly that Armenia has encouraged settlers to move into the occupied areas, attested to by the OSCE, and that the country has also taken action to remove any signs of original Azerbaijani cultural and historical roots.

“The lack of agreement on political issues, protracted nature of the conflict and prolonged negotiations should not be used as a pretext for not addressing other problems deriving from continued and deliberate disrespect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law in connection with the conflict,” he said.

Although the conflict remains unresolved, Mr. Aliyev said that Azerbaijan’s Government has succeeded in guaranteeing political stability, democracy, economic growth and social welfare.

The country is one of the most rapidly-developing economies in the world, nearly tripling its gross domestic product (GDP) in the past five years, he pointed out.

Further, he said, its strategic location at the intersection of major trade routes could potentially make Azerbaijan a regional energy and infrastructure hub.

 

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