Azerbaijan is resolute to reintegrate its citizens of Armenian origin living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region into the country's political, social and economic sphere, Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said Thursday.
Azerbaijan's foreign minister made the remarks at the 27th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Bayramov, during the videoconference, talked about the Nagorno-Karabakh operation that liberated occupied territories, and the cease-fire deal signed between Azerbaijan and Armenia under the mediation of Russia.
He said the trilateral statement signed on Nov. 10 had created the ground for putting an end to the 30-year armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and added that the deal includes an important article on the return of Azerbaijani migrants to their homes under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In contrast, Armenia had forced over 1 million Azerbaijanis to leave their homes after 1980.
Bayramov thanked Turkey and Russia for their efforts toward making this agreement a reality.
"These neighboring states play an important role as guarantors of the above-mentioned agreement, the implementation of which will ensure long-overdue peace and stability in the South Caucasus region," he stressed.
Bayramov underlined that after the return of the Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani and Armenian residents of these areas will have equal rights, irrespective of their ethnic background.
"Azerbaijan is resolute to reintegrate its citizens of Armenian origin residing in the territories of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan into its political, social, economic space, guaranteeing the same rights and freedoms with all the citizens of Azerbaijan regardless of their ethnic, religious affiliation on an equal and nondiscriminatory basis. The Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan provides a solid legal framework in this regard," he said.
"Peaceful coexistence of Azerbaijani and Armenian residents of the conflict-affected territories based on respect to each other's security, ethnic and religious identity within the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must and shall be finally ensured," he added.
Bayramov also noted that with the agreement, all economic and transport links in the region will be opened and a Turkish-Russian joint monitoring center will be established to monitor the implementation of the agreements.
Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
Fresh clashes erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late September, rekindling the Caucasus neighbors' decadeslong conflict over the region.
During the conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several towns and nearly 300 settlements and villages from the Armenian occupation.
Fierce fighting persisted for six weeks despite efforts by France, Russia and the U.S. to broker cease-fires, before Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Moscow-brokered peace deal on Nov. 9.
The agreement was signed after Baku's army overwhelmed the separatist forces and threatened to advance on Karabakh's main city Stepanakert (Khankendi).
The deal has sparked celebrations in Azerbaijan and fury in Armenia, where the country's prime minister, Nikol Pashinian, is facing mounting criticism for agreeing to the deal.
Under the agreement, which leaves Karabakh's future political status in limbo, Armenia lost control of parts of the enclave as well as the seven adjacent districts that it seized during the 1990s war.
Nearly 2,000 Russian peacekeepers have been deployed between the two sides and along the Lachin corridor, a 60-kilometer (35-mile) route through the district that connects Stepanakert to Armenia.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.