Over 4,000 Azerbaijanis considered missing as result of Armenia’s aggression – FM

21:55 | 3 July, 2018

More than 4,000 Azerbaijanis are considered missing as a result of Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.

He made the remarks at the meeting with Elhadj As Sy, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said in a message July 3.

Mammadyarov pointed out the need to guarantee release of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev, who were taken hostage while visiting the graves of their parents in Kalbajar district occupied by Armenian armed forces.

During the meeting, the parties exchanged views on the current state of relations and perspectives of future development between Azerbaijan and the IFRC and expressed hope for further strengthening of the successful cooperation between the two sides.

Secretary-General Elhadj As Sy called Azerbaijan an active partner of the society and expressed satisfaction with the level of humanitarian work and the current level of cooperation in the country.

At the meeting the parties also exchanged views on increasing activities of national societies, the projects implemented at the national and regional levels, and the steps taken to support humanitarian actions.

Minister Elmar Mammadyarov informed the guest about projects and programs implemented by the Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan in various countries, as well as the work done in the field of humanitarian aid.

The secretary-general said that he was aware of the Azerbaijan International Development Assistance Agency (AIDDA), established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan which is in charge of international humanitarian and development assistance and was interested in closely acquainting with the activities and projects of this organization.

During an operation in July 2014 in Shaplar village of Azerbaijani Kalbajar district occupied by Armenia, the Armenian special forces killed an Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov, and took hostage two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. A “criminal case” was initiated against them. Afterwards, a “court” sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.

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.