Statement on the 13th anniversary of the occupation of the city of Shusha by the armed forces of Armenia

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Statement on the 13th anniversary of the occupation of the city of Shusha by the armed forces of Armenia
Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan

This year, on the 8th of May, 13 years pass since the city of Shusha was occupied by the armed forces of Armenia. Occupation of Shusha was one phase of the military aggression conducted with the aim to tear the region of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan and annex it to Armenia and drive the indigenous Azerbaijani population out of their homes. With the occupation of Shusha, which historically has always been the capital city of the entire Karabakh region, the Armenian nationalists completed full ethnic cleansing of this region of Azerbaijan.

Shusha was founded in 1756 on the ancient place of settlement of Azerbaijanis as the capital of the independent Karabakh khanate by its ruler, outstanding state figure Panahali Khan Javanshir. Since then, the city had played considerably an important role in the social, political, economic and cultural life of Azerbaijan, Shusha, being the cradle of the culture and art of Azerbaijan, bestowed upon the world the prominent figures such as the great poet Mollah Panah Vagif. Talented poetess Khurshudbanu Natavan, Abdurrahim bey Hagverdiyev - founder of the Azerbaijani realism, Najaf bey Vazirov - one of the founders of dramatic art in Azerbaijan, playwright and publicist, Uzeyir HaJibayov - founder of the first opera in the East and the great composer, Buibul - world famous opera singer, Afrasiyab Badalbayli - founder of the Azerbaijani ballet and a number of other brilliant figures of our people.

As a result of aggression and ethnic cleansing policy, launched by Armenia since 1988 with the purpose of implementing its territorial claims against Azerbaijan, 20% of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, i.e. the Nagorno-Karabakh region with the city of Shusha and 7 adjacent districts - Lachin. Kalbajar, Aghdam, Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Qubadly, Zangilan have been occupied, more than one million Azerbaijanis have been expelled from the territory of Armenia and occupied territories of Azerbaijan, leaving more than 18 thousand Azerbaijanis killed, over 20 thousand civilians injured, over 50 thousand people disabled, over 4 thousand people taken prisoners and missing, taken hostages, 877 towns, villages and settlements plundered, destroyed and burnt.

In the course of aggression the Armenian nationalists committed terrible crimes of genocide against the Azerbaijani population. During the occupation of the Azerbaijani populated villages of Imarat Garvand. Tugh. Salakatin, Akhullu, Khojavand, Jamilli, Nabitar, Meshali, Hasanabad, KarkiJahan, Gaybaly, Malibayli, Yukhari and Ashaghi Gushchular, Garadaghly in Nagorno-Karabakh, part of the people from these settlements were ruthlessly killed according to the pie-designed plan. Only in the village of Garadaghiy over 80 civilian Azerbaijanis, including children, women and old people were tortured and killed mercilessly, tens of people were taken hostages, the village itself was burned and razed to the ground.

In the night from 25"' to 26th of February of 1992 the military forces of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian terrorist groups in Nagorno-Karabakh, with the support of the 366 motorized regiment of the former Soviet army, the officers of which were mainly composed of the Armenian nationals, stormed the Azerbaijani populated town of Khojaly, committed one of the horrible acts of genocide in the history of mankind. Without any military necessity, Khojaly was totally burned and destroyed. 613 civilian Azerbaijanis, including 63 children, 106 women were brutally killed, 487 people crippled heavily, 1275 inhabitants - elderly people, children and women were taken hostages and subjected to unbelievable humiliations and sufferings. A number of families were entirely annihilated. Even till now there is no information about the fate of 150 people out of those taken hostages, including 68 women and 26 children.

Civilians trying to break through the siege and escape were ambushed and ruthlessly killed by the .Armenian militants on the roads and in the forests. The Armenian militants scalped persons the\ hnd killed, cut off their organs, put out the eyes of infants, ripped the abdomens of pregnant women, buried or burned people alive.

The nature and the scope of the bloody crimes committed in Khojaly and in the other Azerbaijani populated settlements proves that these acts of genocide fully fall under the definition formulated in the UN Convention "On the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide" adopted by the UN General Assembly Resolution 260 (111) on December 9, 1948. These predesigned massive and merciless acts of massacre were perpetrated with an intention to totally annihilate the people living in that territory due to their Azerbaijani origins. People trying to escape from the burned towns and villages were not given any mercy; children and women, in particular pregnant women, were brutally killed. Inhabitants of the other occupied towns and villages of Azerbaijan could escape from the genocide only because they had left their settlements Just a little before the attack of the Armenian military forces.

The Armenian aggressors destroyed the cultural-historical heritage of Azerbaijan in the occupied territories with special brutality. Committing acts of vandalism in the territories they had occupied, they plundered and burned nearly 500 historical and over 100 archeological monuments, 22 museums and 4 art galleries, 9 palaces of historical importance, desecrated 44 temples and 9 mosques. They destroyed and burned 927 libraries with 4.6 million books and unique manuscript.

It is impossible to calculate and express with concrete figures the damage inflicted by the Armenian aggressors on the national cultural places of Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh and in the surrounding districts, because the plundered and destroyed treasures are not only the unique cultural legacy of Azerbaijan, but also of the world civilization.

Despite the fact that the major part of the territory of our country is under occupation, one in eidit persons is a refugee and IDP, living in the tents under unbearable conditions, Azerbaijan is willing to eliminate peacefully the consequences of the aggression conducted by the Republic of Armenia. It has been over 11 years now that a cease-fire regime was established in the front line between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

As it is known, with a view to settle the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh international efforts began with the establishment of the OSCE Minsk Group and determination of the mandate for the future peace conference. The UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 regarding the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, adopted in 1993, unequivocally reaffirmed the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan and demanded complete, immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, These resolutions constitute the integral part of legal framework for the conflict settlement.

Mechanism of the conflict settlement was established in 1994 as the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. At present, the permanent members of the UN Security Council - the USA, France and the Russian Federation are the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.

Adoption of the principles on the conflict settlement - territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which will confer on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-government within Azerbaijan, guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to ensure compliance by all the parties with the provisions of the settlement - at the 1996 OSCE Lisbon Summit by all the OSCE member states, except Armenia, was an important step forward to the just settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The OSCE Istanbul Summit of 1999 demonstrated the desire of the European states to enter the third millennium in peace and security, their willingness to protect the territorial integrity and independence of the countries, to protect human rights and to extend democracy.

On the 25th of January 2005 during the winter session the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) heard the report on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and adopted resolution reflecting the position of the PACE regarding the conflict and a recommendation addressed to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe concerning the measures that the organization should carry out towards the conflict settlement. These documents enshrine the facts of occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan by the armed forces of Armenia, the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region by the separatist forces and the perpetration of ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories. On the other hand, they stated the occupation of foreign territories by a member state of the Council of Europe being in grave violation of the commitments and obligations assumed by that state before the Council of Europe. Furthermore, it condemned the attempt of occupation by use offeree, referred to the UN Security Council resolutions demanding tiber;ition of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, underlined the necessity of withdrawal of the armed forces from all the occupied territories, reaffirmed the right of displaced persons to return to their homes in safety and with dignity.

In order to eliminate the damage inflicted by the aggression of Armenia against our country and develop its independent state the Azerbaijani people needs peace. Settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict on the basis of the UN Charter, OSCE principles and international law, withdrawal of the occupying forces from our territories, restoration of our state sovereignty throughout the entire territory of Azerbaijan, return of the refugees and IDPs to their homes would make it possible to establish lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, to restore the normal neighborly relations between our peoples. This conflict, which continues more than 15 years, obviously hampers the democratic development process in the region and negatively affects not ^only Azerbaijan and Armenia, but also the entire South Caucasus region. The position of our country regarding the conflict settlement is just and is based upon the universally recognized norms and principles of international law.

Unfortunately, the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the relevant decisions of the OSCE and other international organizations have not been ensured so far, the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group has not justified the hopes put on it. There is no need to explain that to what extent it is dangerous to keep the situation unchanged.

The unconstructive position of Armenia in the peace talks, its refusal to recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, stationing foreign military bases in its territory, supplying its army with the modern destructive weapons, frequently breaking the cease-fire regime increase the danger of restoration of military operations.

During the years of peace talks mediated by the international institutions the behavior and statements by the leadership of Armenia have led the peace process at difficult situation. Recently, as a result of the monitoring conducted by the OSCE fact finding mission in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan it was found out that more than 15 thousand Armenians had been illegally settled in these territories.

At the same time, attempts are being made to legitimize the separatist-terrorist regime established in the occupied territories, from time to time "elections" are held to the "power bodies" of the puppet regime. Impudence of the aggressor has gone so far that it has established a post-railed "president of the Nagorno-Karabakh republic" and tries to legitimize it.

Illegal operations are being carried out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other occupied territories. Trafficking in arms and human beings, disposal of the radioactive wastes, brutal plundering of the natural resources, training of terrorist groups and illegal armed groups financed by the revenues from cultivation, processing and transportation, as well as from the production of narcotics, cause serious concern. Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts now have become zones of operations for different international terrorist organizations.

It has been for over I 5 years that Azerbaijan became the target of the Armenian terrorism. From the beginning of the aggression by Armenia against our country the Armenian terrorist organizations have committed 32 acts of terror against Azerbaijan. The victims of the terror were civilians of the cities and villages, transport communications, communication means, public infrastructure. Numerous subversive acts were perpetrated in the roads, railway and sea stations, airports, metro stations, buses and other public transport vehicles. As a direct consequence of these acts o\er 2 thousand Azerbaijani citizens were killed, ten thousands of people injured. Azerbaijan and iis people suffered huge material and moral damage.

In order to justify their territorial claims to the neighboring states, including the Republic of Azerbaijan and to camouflage the policy of occupation, genocide and state terrorism the Armenian nationalists, by using all means, try to make the international community accept their fabrications as if in 1915 they were subjected to genocide and they are "offended, oppressed and humiliated people". Unfortunately, the parliaments and governments of several states that shut their eyes to the real genocide like the tragedy of Khojaly, and sometimes in a number of cases the international organizations being affected by the influence of the deceitful Armenian propaganda, or basing upon the current political circumstances, have made the myth about "Armenian genocide" into the topic of debate, even adopted baseless and unjust documents in this regard.

The researchers committed to the scientific truth, including the western scholars, provide-d long time ago that there had never been any "Armenian genocide" in the history. Fabrication about the "Armenian genocide" is a product of morbid imagination and based on the forged documents. Recently, providing an access by Turkey to the Ottoman archives, inviting the researchers, including the Armenian scholars, to come and get to know with the historical documents dating back to the beginning of the XX century and however, refusal by the Armenian scholars from the scientific discussion reveal true worth of those who disseminate the myth about "Armenian genocide".

In reality, since the end of the XIX century using the covert and open protection of the tsarist Russia and other states the Armenian nationalists cherished an illusion of creating "great Armenia", perpetrated acts of genocide and terror at different times in the Eastern Anatolia and South Caucasus with an intention to cleanse the territories they wanted to occupy, brutally killed about 2 million innocent people. In 1905-1907, further in 1918-1920 in Iravan, Daralayaz and Zangazur (nowadays in the territory of modern Republic of Armenia), Tiflis. Nakhchivan, Baky, Ganja, Karabakh, Shamakhy, Guba, Mughan, Lenkaran and other places of Azerbaijan the civilian Azerbaijani people were subjected to genocide. During the genocide perpetrated in March of 19 is over 30 thousand civilians were killed in Baky - the capital city of Azerbaijan. Thus, millions of innocent people fell a victim to the brutality of the Armenian nationalists. At present, March 3 1 is marked in our country as a day of genocide of the Azerbaijanis.

After the establishment of the Soviet power in Armenia and Azerbaijan a big portion of the Azerbaijani territories was annexed to Armenia with the help of the Bolshevik regime, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis remaining in the territory of Armenia were granted no autonomy, whereas the Armenians in Azerbaijan enjoyed autonomy within the Nagorno-Kanibakh Autonomous Region (NKAR), And so, the Armenian nationalists created a basis for the liilure territorial claims against Azerbaijan, which resulted in further tragedies that took place at the end of the XX century and still continues in the South Caucasus.

During the period of more than the last 100 years a number of generations of the Armenian people have been brought up in the spirit of animosity and hatred against the Turkish and Azerbaijani peoples. Efforts of the Armenian «scholars» have resulted in the falsification of the history of the region. History of the Armenians has been artificially changed, exaggerated and presenied as ancient one; intensive campaign of moral aggression has been conducted against the Azerbaijanis. Taking an advantage of the conditions at the end of the 80s of the last century the Armenian nationalists first completed the forcible deportation of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis who were the primordial inhabitants of the territory of the Republic of Armenia, and then launched an open military aggression against Azerbaijan in order to carry out their terhiorial claims against our country. Thus. The policy of occupation and genocide fueled by the ideology of hatred has consequently led to the present situation.

Using the atmosphere of impunity, support of the foreign forces that are not interested in the establishment and maintenance of peace and stability in the region the leadership of the Republic of Armenia does not hide its real intentions at all. Beginning from 1989 the parliament of Armenia adopted a number of unlawful acts on the "unification" of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, The action plans of the Armenian government include militaristic provisions regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, while the leaders of Armenia make irresponsible statements saying that Nagorno-Karabdkh will never be a pan of Azerbaijan.

One of the factors that hamper the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is predominance of a fear of coercion in the Armenian society and existence of intolerant atmosphere towards the dissent, as well as views regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, which differs from the official ones. In 1999, on the eve of the OSCE Istanbul Summit an unforeseen and unbelievable event took place in the parliament of Armenia, which has never occurred in the history of the modern world and even in the countries with reactionary regimes - a number of armed persons entered the session hail of the parliament and shot some of high ranking officials of the parliament and the government.

Expressing the sovereign will of the Azerbaijani people the Milli Mejiis of the Republic of Azerbaijan declares once again that the Republic of Azerbaijan will never agree with the seizure of sovereignty in a part of its territory, with the outrageous occupation of its primordial lands and with their separation, and will resort to all possible means in order to achieve the restoration of its terrhonal integrity.

Demanding the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853- 874 and 884 adopted in 1993 on complete, immediate and unconditional withdrawal from all the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the Milli Mejiis of the Republic of Azerbaijan calls to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh problem on the basis of the decisions and final documents of the OSCE Budapest, Lisbon and Istanbul summits, recommendations and decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Reaffirming the position of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh the Milli Mejiis of the Republic of Azerbaijan demands from the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to exert an influence on the aggressor that has occupied the neighbor’s lands, to proceed, while elaborating the ways of peaceful settlement of the conflict, from the universally recognized norms and principles of international law, in particular the most fundamental ones - the territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of states.

The Parliament of Azerbaijan calls upon the Armenian side to hold constructive position in the peace process, to refrain from the actions, which stalemate the talks within the OSCE Minsk Group and complicate the restoration works to be carried out in the region after the settlement.

The international community should not remain indifferent to the violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, it has to call the aggressor by its proper name and render assistance in the withdrawal by Armenia from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and return of the refugees and IDPs to their homes. Considering it necessary and demanding to discuss the issue of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in the United Nations General Assembly the Milli Mejiis of the Republic of Azerbaijan appeals to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of the Independent States, Parliamentary Union of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Parliament and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the other international organizations, parliaments and governments of the world countries to support the just cause of Azerbaijan, contribute to the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law and lo the restoration of the territorial integrity of our country.

(Adopted at the session of the Milli Mejiis (Parliament) of the Republic of Azerbaijan on May 6 2005.)

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