BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Azerbaijan this week urged U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to re-think his position on a resolution adopted in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) accusing Armenia of "environmental aggression" and "deliberately depriving" Azerbaijanis of water flowing from the Sarsang reservoir, which is located in the Armenian-occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The resolution further calls for "the immediate withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the region concerned."
In a letter to Schiff, Azerbaijani MP and PACE member Elkhan Suleymanov notes that the PACE resolution "for the first time in 23 years obviously confirms that Azerbaijani territories were not occupied by Armenian armed forces and separatists, but by the Armenian state."
He urges Schiff to "read once again" similar resolutions by the United Nations Security Council, the European Parliament and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe that have also been calling for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding Azerbaijani provinces.
During an interview with an Armenian news outlet, Schiff voiced his disapproval of the PACE measures - one of which was rejected - calling them one-sided and destructive and noting the importance to mobilise against them.
In his letter, Suleymanov stressed that the adopted resolution "doesn't only deal with water" but "officially makes the Armenian state fully responsible for a possible humanitarian catastrophe due to the Sarsang reservoir and over 400 thousand inhabitants of 6 frontier regions of Azerbaijan becoming the victims of this catastrophe."
The continued occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding Azerbaijani districts by Armenia has left the country in control of high-lying catchment areas as well as the unmaintained Sarsang dam, which has created an artificial environmental crisis to the once-productive agricultural regions of Azerbaijan that lie downstream.
The resolution entitled "Inhabitants of Frontier Regions of Azerbaijan are Deliberately Deprived of Water" was adopted by PACE in late January. At the time, PACE rapporteur Milica Markovic, who was tasked to investigate the water crisis and its dangers, warned that the lack of maintenance at the dam could "result in a major disaster with great loss of human life and possibly a fresh humanitarian crisis."
SOURCE Azerbaijan Monitor