WASHINGTON, June 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States -- In a landmark decision condemning Armenia's illegal occupation of Azerbaijani territories, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on June 16 that Armenia supports and controls the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan. "The Court reminds the world once again about Armenia's illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions and recognizes the physical, emotional and financial tolls that this has placed on our people," said Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United States. "It is our hope that this protracted conflict can be resolved quickly and peacefully so all displaced people can finally return home."
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement, saying: "It is therefore critical that the international community insist on the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions ... demanding the withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and supporting the return of displaced persons to their places of origin in safety and dignity."
In its decision, the Court noted that Nagorno-Karabakh "and its administration survives by virtue of the military, political, financial and other support given to it by Armenia which, consequently, exercises effective control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding territories." Adding to its decision, the Court declared that "it is not realistic, let alone possible, in practice for Azerbaijanis to return to these territories in the circumstances which have prevailed throughout this period and which include the continued presence of Armenian and Armenian-backed troops."
The Court further ruled that Armenia has violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights (formally known as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms), a treaty adopted in 1950 by the Council of Europe. The case was brought to the Court in 2005 by six Azerbaijani nationals who were forced to flee from Lachin, a region adjacent to the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
An occupied territory since the cease fire was signed in 1994, the Nagorno-Karabakh region saw tens of thousands die in a conflict that remains unresolved. Armenia's refusal to address the humanitarian consequences of this occupation have long undermined peace negotiations and endangered regional stability, and the country continues to propagate regional risks rather than act as a responsible, independent nation committed to a safe and prosperous future for its own citizens and the region. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were forcibly evicted by Armenian forces following the conflict cannot return to their homes in the territory for over two decades due to the Armenian military presence.
SOURCE Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States