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Azerbaijani Party Appeals To OSCE About Armenian Resettlement

BAKU -- Azerbaijan's ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party (YAP) has written to officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to protest the planned settlement of 200 ethnic Armenian families from Kyrgyzstan on occupied Azerbaijani territory, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

The letter, sent to the OSCE Minsk Group chairmen and OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Petros Efthymiou, is posted on the YAP website.

"Azerbaijan has raised the issue of the illegal settlement on Azerbaijan's occupied territories several times at the UN and other international organizations," it reads.

"The OSCE fact-finding mission report released last year also found that some 15,000 Armenians have been illegally settled on Azerbaijan's occupied territories."

In fact, the OSCE fact-finding mission report was released in March 2011. It estimates the population of the ethnic-Armenian controlled territories adjacent to the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh to be around 14,000, and says "there has been no significant growth in the population since 2005."

The YAP says in the letter that "the organization of a new Armenian settlement on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh can seriously impact the peace talks...conducted intensively within the OSCE Minsk Group."

The YAP recalls the Soviet-era resettlement of Azeris from Armenia to Azerbaijan to free up territory for diaspora Armenians who came to settle in the then-Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, and says history is now repeating itself.

The party says the planned new settlement violates the four UN Security Council resolutions of 1993. Those resolutions called for the immediate cessation of hostilities by all sides, a formal, lasting cease-fire, and the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

"The Azerbaijani people resolutely reject any influx from outside onto Azerbaijani lands and do not intend to accept its legal consequence," the letter reads.

The YAP calls on the Minsk Group co-chairs to denounce the above policy and take all steps necessary to counter "its negative results."

Read more in Azeri here