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 Tuesday, March 21 2023 20:32
Alina Hovhannisyan

Artsakh MFA: Azerbaijan`s deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing  against Artsakh people indicates need for international community to  reconsider their approaches to issue of status of Artsakh

Artsakh MFA: Azerbaijan`s deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing  against Artsakh people indicates need for international community to  reconsider their approaches to issue of status of Artsakh

ArmInfo. For 100 days now, Azerbaijan has been subjecting Artsakh to an illegal blockade, the ultimate goal of which is to destroy the Artsakh people as such by  expelling them from their historical homeland.  

Accompanying their actions with the use of force and acts of terror, Azerbaijan is  pursuing a consistent policy aimed at forcibly suppressing the right  of the people of Artsakh to self-determination. At the same time, the  Azerbaijani authorities openly demonstrate their rejection of  negotiations as a means of finding a solution to any issue. This is  stated in the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the  Republic of Artsakh.  

"It should be noted that for several decades, Azerbaijan has been  striving to get rid of the people of Artsakh and resolve the  Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict by force. The first victims of such a  criminal policy were, in particular, the Armenians who lived in  Azerbaijan during the Soviet period. The deportation of Armenians  from Azerbaijan organized by the local authorities in 1988-1990 and  accompanied by massacres, torture and pogroms, marked the beginning  of a new stage in Azerbaijan's policy of persecuting Armenians. As  early as in 1991, the Azerbaijani authorities continued the  deportation of Armenians from Artsakh, which, in various forms and  manifestations, has continued to this day.  

Subsequently, in violation of international law and the UN Charter,  and in an attempt to get rid of the people of Artsakh and suppress  their right to freedom and self-determination, Azerbaijan has  resorted to force three times to resolve the conflict through direct  military aggression against Artsakh. All three wars waged by  Azerbaijan against Artsakh were accompanied by massive human rights  violations and war crimes, including wilful killings of civilians,  extrajudicial executions and torture of prisoners of war and civilian  hostages, indiscriminate shelling, the use of internationally  prohibited ammunition, and deliberate attacks on critical civilian  infrastructure.  

As a result of the aggression against Artsakh in 2020 and the  occupation of a vast part of its territory, more than 40 thousand  Armenians of Artsakh became forcibly displaced. All civilians who  remained in the territories that came under the control of Azerbaijan  were brutally killed by Azerbaijani soldiers. Azerbaijan's  provocations and attacks on the civilians of Artsakh, including  wilful killings, continued even after the signing of the trilateral  ceasefire statement of 9 November 2020.  

Widespread and systematic violations of the rights of the people of  Artsakh by Azerbaijan, including massacres, deportations, torture and  other inhuman acts, are not only encouraged, but also co-ordinated at  the state level. The Azerbaijani authorities do not even hide their  criminal intentions to carry out ethnic cleansing and genocide in  Artsakh. This is evidenced by the numerous public statements made by  the President of Azerbaijan. The latest such statement was made on 18  March 2023, during his defiantly provocative visit  to the Armenian  village of Talish occupied during the 44-day aggression, the entire  population of which was forcibly displaced.  The visit itself, as  well as the aggressive and belligerent statements of the Azerbaijani  senior leadership during that visit, indicate that official Baku  plans to extend the scenario implemented in the occupied village of  Talish to the whole of Artsakh.    Along with this, throughout the entire negotiation process since the  1990s, Azerbaijan has sabotaged all efforts of the international  mediators, in particular, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries,  aimed at a peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict  based on international law, each time refusing at the last moment  from agreements on a compromise solution. Moreover, after the war of  aggression in 2020, the Azerbaijani authorities refused altogether  from the peace negotiations, declaring the issues of the life and  rights of the people of Artsakh as their internal matter.  

Azerbaijan's deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing against the people  of Artsakh indicates the need for the international community to  reconsider their approaches to the issue of the status of Artsakh and  the political settlement of the Azerbaijan- Karabakh conflict. The  scale and gravity of the crimes committed by Azerbaijan at the state  level against the people of Artsakh, as well as the ongoing genocidal  policy, require decisive and urgent action by the international  community, including the bodies responsible for maintaining  international peace and security.  

We believe that, at this stage, the development of additional legally  binding obligations to resolve the conflict by peaceful means, the  consolidation of the principles of non-use or threat of force and  equal rights and self-determination of peoples as the basis for  negotiations, as well as the restoration of the international  mechanism for direct negotiations between Artsakh and Azerbaijan meet  the requirements international law and the universal commitment to  the protection of human rights around the world. Universal  recognition of the Artsakh people's inalienable right to  self-determination is the most effective way in which the  international community can guarantee the protection of human rights  and fundamental freedoms in Artsakh.  

We recall that according to international law and international  practice, the denial and forceful suppression of the right to  self-determination, accompanied by massive human rights violations,  as well as the rejection of negotiations as a means of resolving  conflict, are sufficient grounds for recognising the right of a  people to establish an independent state," the statement of the NKR  MFA on the Right of the People of Artsakh to Self-Determination  reads. 

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