21 years have passed since the occupation of Jabrayil region of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia.
Jabrayil is one of the richest mineral and construction materials territories of Azerbaijan. The territory of Jabrayil is rich with cement, marble, limestone and other construction materials, as well as there are iron-ore and oil deposits in Jabrayil. Besides, underground water-supply system that was formed in I century was widely used in Jabrayil before the occupation. 118 underground water-supplies out of 813 in Azerbaijan are located in this region. Moreover, there are more than 360 springs that are rich with natural minerals.
Jabrayil was one of the cultural tangible and intangible heritage centers and played unique role in cultural life of Azerbaijan. Thus, the cave of “Divler Sarayi” located near the village Dagh-Tumas (stone age), “Mesgid Tepe” (bronze age), “Jangulu” and “ Gumtepe” mounds (bronze age) in Galajig village, Sigeon construction on Gizilgaya mountain, “Sheherjik galiglari” and “Gishlag yerleri” near the Girkhlar village, archeological tombs “Mazannene”, “Mermernene” on Diridagh mountain, “Bashikesik Gumbez” in the Dagh-Tumas village, “Gala” bridge in Sirik village, “Giz Galasi” (XII century), and Khudaferin bridges (XI, XII and XIII centuries) on Diridagh mountain, a mosque complex (XVII century) in Chelebiler village, “Sultan Mejid hamami” in the city centre, “Dairevi Turbe (mauseloum)” in Shikhlar village, 8-pointed tombs and mausoleums in Turkish cemeteries, as well as “Orkhan written monument” (early middle ages) are living history that passed from generation to generation.
It should be highlighted that Jabrayil is also one of the main centers of Art of Azerbaijani Ashiq and traditional art of Azerbaijani carpet weaving that has been included on the UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity respectively in 2009 and 2010.
However, Jabrayil also suffered from the Republic of Armenia’s insidious, destructive policy of annexation and ethnic cleansing. Jabrayil was occupied by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia on August 26, 1993. As a result of the acts of violence and ethnic cleansing carried out by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia in the course of this occupation, 352 people were killed, 191 became disabled, and 67898 people became internally displaced persons. Furthermore, 72 secondary schools, 8 hospitals, 132 historical monuments, 150 cultural centers, and about 100 villages totally destroyed by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia.
The relevant documents adopted by the international community with regard to the aggression of the Republic of Armenia towards the Republic of Azerbaijan, especially four UN Security Council resolutions, resolution 1416, adopted on 25 January 2005 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, resolution 62/243 “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 14 March 2008, European Parliament report “The need for an EU strategy for the South Caucasus” from 20 May 2010, reaffirmed the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, recognized the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and its surrounding districts and demanded the withdrawal of all occupying Armenian forces from these territories.
However, the afore-mentioned international documents remain unimplemented by the Republic of Armenia.
The Republic of Azerbaijan is confident that for the purposes of lasting peace, security and stability in the South Caucasus, there is no alternative other than by concerted efforts of the international community to convince the Republic of Armenia to put an end to the illegal occupation of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to ensure that inalienable rights of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons to return to their places of origin is fully recognized and implemented.