Ar­me­nia de­stroys thou­sands hectares of for­est ar­eas in oc­cu­pied Karabakh

Azer News - - Front Page - By Ab­dul Ker­imkhanov

In an ef­fort to achieve its goals, us­ing the help of for­eign pa­trons, Ar­me­nia at dif­fer­ent times car­ried out a pol­icy of eth­nic cleans­ing against Azer­bai­ja­nis through hor­rific ter­ror­ist acts and geno­cide.

In an ef­fort to achieve its goals, us­ing the help of for­eign pa­trons, Ar­me­nia at dif­fer­ent times car­ried out a pol­icy of eth­nic cleans­ing against Azer­bai­ja­nis through hor­rific ter­ror­ist acts and geno­cide.

For 200 years, the Azer­bai­jani peo­ple, con­fronted with ag­gres­sive poli­cies and geno­cide con­sis­tently car­ried out by Ar­me­nian na­tion­al­ists.

Ab­dul­layeva, act­ing spokesman for the For­eign Min­istry, stated that as a re­sult of Ar­me­nia's mil­i­tary ag­gres­sion, the na­ture of the Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan, its bio­di­ver­sity and the eco­log­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the re­gion have led to se­ri­ous con­se­quences, re­sult­ing in en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion and the re­gion's nat­u­ral re­sources have been un­der con­stant ex­ploita­tion.

Since 2001, the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly has de­clared Novem­ber 6 In­ter­na­tional Day for the Pre­ven­tion of the En­vi­ron­ment at War and Armed Con­flict, she added.

Ab­dul­layeva noted that cur­rently, 261,000 hectares of for­est ar­eas oc­cu­pied by Ar­me­nian armed forces have been de­stroyed, in­clud­ing valu­able for­est ar­eas, nat­u­ral mon­u­ments and 145 east­ern chi­nars, which have been im­ported, as well as var­i­ous plants in­cluded in the "Red Book of the Repub­lic of Azer­bai­jan" and most of the an­i­mal species, spe­cially pro­tected and pro­tected ar­eas, and rare bio­di­ver­sity pat­terns were de­stroyed.

More­over, Azer­bai­jani nat­u­ral water sources pass­ing through the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries are ex­posed to large-scale pol­lu­tion by Ar­me­nia. As a re­sult of the sharp con­tam­i­na­tion of Ox­chuchay and Agstafachay, which is the branches of the Araz and Kura rivers, there is a se­ri­ous threat to the liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment in the rivers. The Sarsang reser­voir, built on the Tar­tar River and ir­ri­gated by an area of 100,000 hectares, oc­cu­pies the water in the win­ter sea­son, and in the sum­mer months, sharp water scarcity threat­ens 400,000 peo­ple liv­ing in foothills and in­te­ri­ors.

It is no co­in­ci­dence that the res­o­lu­tion on the de­lib­er­ate de­pri­va­tion of the res­i­dents of the fron­tier dis­tricts of Azer­bai­jan adopted by the Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly of the Coun­cil of Europe (PACE) in 2016 de­manded an im­me­di­ate with­drawal of the Ar­me­nian armed forces from the re­gion and en­sured the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by in­de­pen­dent en­gi­neers and hy­drol­o­gists, she noted.

Ab­dul­layeva said that 163 min­eral de­posits, in­clud­ing gold, mer­cury, cop­per, lead, zinc, coal and other re­sources are oc­cu­pied by the Ar­me­ni­ans in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries. The en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards have not ad­hered at the ex­ploita­tion of the nat­u­ral re­sources of the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries and as a re­sult, the en­vi­ron­ment is also se­ri­ously dam­aged.

De­spite the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of in­ter­na­tional law and its in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments, this pol­icy of Ar­me­nia ex­ploit­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal and nat­u­ral re­sources in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries of Azer­bai­jan once again demon­strates its in­dif­fer­ent and non-con­struc­tive po­si­tion to­wards the re­gion's sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and progress. In­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, es­pe­cially in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries of Azer­bai­jan, in any way in­volves il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties and nat­u­ral re­sources, with the in­volve­ment of phys­i­cal and ju­ridi­cal per­sons, the coun­tries in­volved should re­frain from as­sist­ing any se­ri­ous breach of in­ter­na­tional law, Ab­dul­layeva added.

As a re­sult of Ar­me­nia's armed in­va­sion into Azer­bai­jan's le­gal ter­ri­tory, the two neigh­bour­ing coun­tries have re­mained locked in a bit­ter ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute over the NagornoKarabakh re­gion, which Ar­me­nia-backed sep­a­ratists seized from Azer­bai­jan in a bloody war in the early 1990s.

The 1994 cease­fire agree­ment was fol­lowed by peace ne­go­ti­a­tions. Ar­me­nia has not yet im­ple­mented four UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on with­drawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the sur­round­ing dis­tricts.

De­spite Baku's best ef­forts, peace in the oc­cu­pied lands re­mains a mi­rage in the dis­tance as Ar­me­nia re­fuses to com­ply with in­ter­na­tional law.

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