Sarsang reservoir instrument of terror for Armenia, Azerbaijani MFA

By: Sara Rajabova

Armenia uses the Sarsang reservoir as an instrument of terror, said Hikmet Hajiyev, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman.

He made the remark while commenting on Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan’s statement on the PACE rapporteur’s “Intentional deprivation of the residents of the Azerbaijani border regions of water” report.

PACE Committee on Social Affairs adopted on November 23 the draft resolution on the report prepared by PACE rapporteur on the issue – Milica Markovic, MP from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kocharyan said “with its report on the Sarsang reservoir, the PACE social affairs committee plays into Azerbaijan’s hands.” He also accused PACE rapporteur for avoiding visit to the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.

Hajiyev stressed that Kocharyan’s statement is yet another proof of the fact that Armenia did not allow the PACE mission to enter the occupied territories of Azerbaijan during preparation of the report.

Armenia is not interested in the monitoring of the Sarsang water reservoir and with different pretexts rejected requests by the PACE rapporteur to observe the situation on the ground.

Reminding that Armenia deprived the inhabitants of the border regions of water, Hajiyev said it is an evidence of the inhuman policy of the country.

The PACE demanded an immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops from the zone of Sarsang reservoir, and called for ending the use of water resources for the benefit of one of the parties to the conflict or as a means of pressure on the other.

“PACE Rapporteur Milica Markovic’s report entitled “Intentional deprivation of the residents of the Azerbaijani border regions of water” is humanitarian in nature,” Hajiyev said. “It is important in terms of considering the problem of the deprivation of the inhabitants of the Azerbaijani border regions of water and submitting it to the international community.”

The diplomat said the Sarsang reservoir was built to provide people and farms in the border regions with water. “But after the occupation of this territory, Armenia uses it as a tool of humanitarian and environmental terrorism,” he said.

The Armenian side intentionally opens the floodgates during the winter months and causes flooding in the surrounding areas. But, it does not allow using it in summer. As a result, there are serious problems in providing people and farms with water and preserving the biodiversity.

The international conventions envisage that the use of water is an integral part of human rights.

“During the conflict settlement, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen must thoroughly consider the reports of the Rapporteur of PACE Committee on Political Affairs Robert Walter and the Rapporteur of the Committee on Social Affairs Milica Markovic as an expression of will and concern of the international community,” Hajiyev said.

Hajiyev once again reiterated the Azerbaijani side’s position on the necessity of withdrawing the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories, as required by the UN Security Council resolutions.

During the 20 years of occupation, the technical facilities and equipment of the Sarsang reservoir are in dire conditions due to a lack of maintenance and up keep. The probability of the destruction as a result of malfunction, natural disaster, or sabotage is extremely high and is now a real threat for Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in conflict for over two decades. Armenia occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, after laying territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor that sparked a lengthy war in the early 1990s.

The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal, but they have not been enforced to date.


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