Berlin hosts conference on topic of return to Western Azerbaijan (PHOTO)

The event, which was organized by the Alliance of Azerbaijanis of Germany together with the Western Azerbaijan Community, was attended by up to one hundred Western Azerbaijani activists.

A delegation of the Western Azerbaijani Community, led by Chairman Aziz Alakbarov participated in the conference. The delegation included deputy chairman Ramil Hasan and spokesperson Ulviyya Zulfikar.

During the deliberations, the topic of Western Azerbaijan, activity of the Western Azerbaijan Community in realization of the right to return, steps to be taken to galvanize the support of the international community to the mentioned human rights issue were discussed.

In conclusion of the event, a Declaration was adopted. The declaration states the following:

“We, the representatives of the Azerbaijanis who were forcibly removed from the territory of present-day Armenia and who currently reside in various countries, gathered in Berlin on May 7, 2023, to discuss the issue of our right to return to our historical homeland and to galvanize international community’s support for our cause.

We recall that hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis were subjected to ethnic cleansing and mass deportation by the Armenian authorities, in violation of international law and human rights. As a result of this brutal and systematic campaign, no Azerbaijanis remain in Armenia today. The majority of the displaced Azerbaijanis found refuge in Azerbaijan, while some settled in other countries.

We reaffirm that we have an inalienable right to return to our homes and lands in Armenia, as recognized by various international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and numerous other international acts.

We emphasize that the realization of our right to return is essential for the establishment of lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus region. We believe that the coexistence of Azerbaijanis and Armenians in Armenia is possible and desirable, based on mutual respect, tolerance and dialogue.

We express our full support to the Western Azerbaijan Community, the umbrella organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Azerbaijani expellees from Armenia, as the legitimate representative of our interests and aspirations.

We commend the Western Azerbaijan Community for adopting the Concept of Return, which defines the general framework of objectives, principles and activities for the peaceful, safe and dignified return of Azerbaijanis to their historical homeland.

We also welcome the peaceful and rule-based approach of the Western Azerbaijan Community, which embarked on direct dialogue with the Government of Armenia.

We urge the Government of Armenia to reciprocate calls by the Western Azerbaijan Community for starting dialogue and the implementation of the Concept of Return, in accordance with international law and human rights.

We call on the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe and its member states, as well as other relevant international actors, to support our cause and to facilitate a constructive dialogue between the Western Azerbaijan Community and Armenia. We also call on them to provide practical assistance and protection to the displaced Azerbaijanis until, during and after their return is realized.

We refer to and support the appeal sent by the Western Azerbaijan Community to UNESCO on March 27, 2023, which raised the issue of destruction and misappropriation of Azerbaijani cultural heritage in Armenia. We urge UNESCO to take immediate measures to halt and reverse the destruction of Azerbaijani cultural heritage, most notably the ongoing destruction of the formerly Azerbaijani-inhabited Tepebashi quarter of Yerevan.

We declare our intention to work together with the Western Azerbaijan Community on informing and mobilizing the international community about our common cause.

We also declare our agreement to hold consultations on a regular basis in order to coordinate our actions and strategies.

We adopt this declaration in Berlin on May 7, 2023.”

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