Switzerland actively works for peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

By: Amina Nazarli

Azerbaijan has faced with the double standards, and injustice at the international scene.

Ali Hasanov, Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the State Committee on Affairs of Refugees and IDPs made the remark at the meeting with Philipp Stalder, the newly appointed ambassador of the Swiss Confederation to Baku on November 17.

Hasanov informed the ambassador on the Azerbaijani realities happening in the country, as well as Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the history of the problem, and the plight of refugees and IDPs.

Emphasizing that no progress have been achieved in conflict settlement so far, Hasanov expressed deep regret because the world community don’t exert pressure upon aggressive Armenia, and closes eyes to this injustice.

The bloody war, which flared up in the late 1980s due to Armenia’s territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor, left 700,000 civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the regions adjoining it, as well as the regions bordering with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh without homes.

Moreover, 250,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from Armenia and became refugees due to Armenia’s ethnic cleansing policy after the emergence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan. Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

The deputy prime minister noted that, continuing to occupy the Azerbaijani lands, the aggressor Armenia achieved nothing.

“For this period, Armenian economy has experienced even more difficult situation. For the past years, the Armenian people benefited nothing from the conflict, but, on the contrary, they lost a lot of things. However, Azerbaijan, after restoration of its independence, has built a democratic, constitutional state,” he said.

Hasanov further said that Azerbaijan, being the most tolerant country, is open for the world. “Representatives of all nationalities, religions live here as one family, in the conditions of peace and tranquility. Churches and synagogues function in Baku. Over the past ten years, the country has held two interreligious international conferences. Religious leaders from about 160 countries participated in these events.

“Over the past ten years, Azerbaijan, quickly developing under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, has turned into one of the authoritative countries of the world. We are already recognized and accepted not as the oil and gas country, also as the country realizing global projects and taking important actions to solve universal problems,” he said.

The Swiss diplomat, for his part, highly appreciated the work which is carried out by the Azerbaijan’s government in connection with refugees and IDPs. The diplomat praised the development and progress in the country.

Stalder emphasized that his country will make more efforts for peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The number of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs from the Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia is above one million. Given its 9.7 million population, Azerbaijan has one of the largest per capita IDP and refugees’ burden in the world.

The Azerbaijanis who had displaced from their homes as result of the brutal war were forced to live in refugee camps in very difficult conditions.

Over the years, the Azerbaijani government together with international community has provided significant resources towards the improvement of overall living conditions for this group of population. In 2007 the last IDP camp in the country (12 camps in total) was eliminated.

However, despite the enormous efforts made by the government, the total solution of the problems is still very difficult to achieve, as about 400,000 IDPs continue to live under difficult conditions in old and unsuitable houses.


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