Azerbaijan: Problems of migration, refugees threaten int’l security

The problem of migration and refugees threatens international security, leads to violation of the borders of other states and contributes to the formation of separatist regimes, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov said Mar. 15.

He made the remarks in Baku at a meeting of the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons.

He said that joint actions are needed to solve all these problems.

He noted that Azerbaijan has prepared the Great Repatriation (“Great Return”) draft program, which envisages the return of refugees and IDPs after the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia are liberated.

Khalafov also noted that Azerbaijan’s occupied territories are used for illicit trafficking of drugs, people and weapons.

Azerbaijan has appealed to the UN for assistance in preventing these, Khalafov added.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

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.