By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Armenian leadership is artificially settling Armenians in Azerbaijan’s occupied Lachin region.
While 50 houses were put into operation in the village, another 100 houses are under construction in the new village, built on the ruins of occupied Azerbaijani village of Zabux, which was destroyed during the battles for Lachin. The name of the village has been replaced with Armenian name Agavno. Playgrounds and schools are also planned to be put into operation in the village.
The idea of establishing the village of Agavno belongs to Lebanese Armenians and the financial costs of the construction were covered by the Ari Foundation. Andranik Cavusyan, who moved from Lebanon to Lachin in 2011, will head the village.
Note that Zabukh village of Lachin region is located on the border with Armenia’s Gorus region.
Thus, Yerevan misrepresents the national structure of the region in its favor.
Following the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which resulted in occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, Yerevan tried to artificially shift the demographic structure in these territories. To this end, the process of the illegal resettlement of Armenians in the occupied territories was started, which continues today.
From the middle of the 1990s to 2012, about 27,000 Armenians were illegally resettled to the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas.
Levon Zurabyan, Advisor to the President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan stated that in 1998, over 15,000 Armenians were resettled to the territory of occupied Lachin.
In 2005, the OSCE fact-finding mission confirmed the illegal settlement of the occupied Azerbaijani territories. The mission revealed that the number of Armenians settled in the occupied territories exceeds 17,000. The same report of the OSCE fact-finding mission indicated that 8,000-11,000 Armenians were settled just in the Lachin region.
In 2010, some 199 Armenian families (616 people) were resettled in Lachin, while in the first half of 2011, 50 more families were resettled, and by the end of 2011, the number of resettled families was increased to 300.
In April 2012, Armenian media reported that over 600 Armenian families had been resettled to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Since the beginning of the war in Syria (2011), official Yerevan has resettled over 20,000 Syrian Armenians in Armenia, some of which were resettled in Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.
At the International Conference on the Victims of Ethnic and Religious Violence in the Middle East on 14 May 2018, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov said that hundreds of Syrian-Armenians have been settled in these territories of Azerbaijan.
“There are continuous attempts to exploit suffering of refugees from the Middle East in some ulterior interests under the pretext of making contribution to overcoming of the refugee crisis. Since the deterioration of the situation in Syria, Armenia has been encouraging Syrian-Armenians to settle in the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” he stated.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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