Twenty three years have passed since the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Zangilan district by Armenian armed forces.
On October 29, 1993, Armenia’s armed forces finished the occupation of Zangilan, the last district adjacent to Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Zangilan, which is situated on Baku-Julfa-Nakhchivan railway, is of great strategic importance. Its area was 700 sq km, population over 35,000.
Minjivan station through which Baku-Minjivan-Gafan railway passes was completely destroyed after the occupation.
There was one city, one district and 83 villages in Zangilan before occupation. There were 9 pre-school institutions, 19 primary schools, 15 secondary schools, 1 technical school and music school, 35 libraries, 8 culture houses, 23 clubs and 22 film projectors in Zangilan. 188 residents of Zangilan were killed in the first Karabakh war. About 35,000 IDPs from Zangilan settled down in various regions of Azerbaijan. 44 went missing.
Armenians are continuing ecological terror in Zangilan.
As a result of the arsons committed by Armenians, a great part of the district’s territory has burnt down, valuable trees, preserves have been destroyed.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.