Armenia must be held accountable for war crimes

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Staff Report/DNA

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Azerbaijan Khazar Farhadov has said Armenia must for held accountable for war crimes adding Armenia has to tell us and the world that where are thousands of the missing persons. He said Pakistan’s support during the 44 day Patriotic War meant a lot for us and people of Azerbaijan and the government will remember for ever.

Ambassador Khazar Farhadov expressed these views while addressing a press conference . Prior to the press conference, the Ambassador briefed the media people about various stages of the Patriotic War through a photo exhibition.

Ambassador Khazar further said We have about 4,000 citizens registered as missing during the First Karabakh War. Armenia must inform us about their fate. We have solid evidence that almost all of them were tortured to death by Armenian servicemen in violation of international humanitarian law and buried in mass graves.

The Patriotic War under the leadership of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President Ilham Aliyev that ended with a victory of the brave Azerbaijani Army, opened a new era in the history of the Republic of Azerbaijan, established international justice and changed the realities in the region, he added.

He said, after the liberation, Azerbaijan began to revive the liberated territories, which were completely destroyed by Armenia. Azerbaijan began to rebuild and restore its territories. In just 8 months, the Fizuli international airport was built in Azerbaijan, and work is underway in all the liberated territories.

‘And I would like also to emphasize in particular that we are grateful for the resolute position of brother Pakistan on the issues of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity before and during the Patriotic War.During the Patriotic War government, Parliament and people of Pakistan morally and politically supported us condemning Armenian aggression and supporting Azerbaijan’s just position to restore its territorial integrity’. He added, this is a true demonstration of brotherhood. Azerbaijan supports the settlement of the Kashmir issue in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Giving a background, the ambassador said, as you know, Armenia for almost 30 years kept under occupation almost 20 percent of my country’s territory. The occupation was accompanied with notorious war crimes and crimes against humanity. Armenia committed the Khojaly genocide inFebruary 1992, killing hundreds of civilians, including 106 women and 63 children. 1275 Azerbaijanis were taken hostage, 150 of them are still missing. Armenia’s ethnic cleansing has resulted in more than a million Azerbaijanis becoming refugees and internally displaced persons. In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions calling for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of armed forces Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. However, these and all other similar decisions adopted by relevant international organizationshave been ignored by Armenia.

During the occupation Armenia tried to maintain the status quo. Unfortunately, no international sanctions have been imposed on Armenia to ensure the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions. The overthrow of the war criminal regime in Armenia in 2018 was not accompanied by real changes.

The Armenian government has made a number of provocative statements and actions, such as “Karabakh is Armenia and period”. The then Defense Minister of Armenia openly threatened Azerbaijan with a new war for the new territories. In addition, Armenia pursued a policy of illegal settlement of Armenians from third countries, in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, in gross violation of international law.

In July 2020, Armenia committed a military provocation on the state border with Azerbaijan. As a result of an artillery strike in the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan, 13 servicemen and civilians were killed. In August last year, an Armenian sabotage group tried to penetrate through the former line of contact in order to commit terrorist acts against Azerbaijani military servicemen and civilians, but was successfully neutralized by us.

At the General Debates of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 24 last year, President Ilham Aliyev warned that hostile, Azerbaijan phobic statements and provocations of Armenian leadership demonstrate that Armenia was preparing for a new aggression against Azerbaijan. Three days later, on September 27 last year, Armenia launched a large-scale attack on Azerbaijani military positions and civilians.

In response, Azerbaijan launched a counterattack in its own territories against Armenia, using the right to self-defense enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. For 44 days, the Armenian armed forces intensively fired on the regions and cities along and also far from the frontline. Armenia used ballistic missiles such as the Scud and Iskander-M, as well as banned white phosphorus and cluster munitions. As a result of these Armenian war crimes, more than 100 civilians, including 11 children, were killed and more than 450 were injured. More than 12,000 civilian infrastructure, including individual houses, has been destroyed or severely damaged in Azerbaijan. Armenia has attracted mercenaries and foreign fighters from abroad and placed them against Azerbaijan.

In total more than 300 cities and villages were liberated on the battlefield. Armenia had to sign an act of capitulation on 10 November 2020. Accordingly, Armenia was obliged to withdraw its troops from the remaining part of Azerbaijan’s territories, namely Aghdam, Lachin and Kalbajar regions.  Azerbaijan has implemented the above-mentioned UN Security Council resolutions. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was left in the past. There is no administrative territorial unit called Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.

Karabakh and East Zangazur economic zones were established by a decree of Presidenton July 7 this year.