PACE Committee urges Armenia to leave Azerbaijani lands

PACE Political Affairs Committee adopted a draft resolution based on a report prepared by parliamentarian Milica Markovic with regard to the Sarsang reservoir, located in Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia.

A message posted on the PACE website Nov. 27 read that adopting the draft resolution, the parliamentarians said the lack of regular maintenance work for over 20 years on the Sarsang reservoir poses a danger to the whole border region.

The parliamentarians emphasised that the state of disrepair of the Sarsang dam could result in a major disaster with great loss of human life and possibly a fresh humanitarian crisis.

In view of this urgent humanitarian problem, the Committee requested the immediate withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the region concerned, thus allowing access by independent engineers and hydrologists to carry out a detailed on-the-spot survey and international supervision of the irrigation canals, the state of the Sarsang and Madagiz dams, the schedule of water releases during the autumn and winter, and aquifer overexploitation.

PACE added that the parliamentarians also requested the Armenian authorities to cease using water resources as tools of political influence or an instrument of pressure.

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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.