Uncontrolled territories are being used for growing narcotics
The occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent regions by Armenian armed forces have done significant material and moral damage to Azerbaijan. Moreover, uncontrolled territories have been a fertile ground for the separatists to grow and transfer narcotics. For many years, Azerbaijani officials, parliamentarians, and representatives of non-government organizations have openly stated this in the international organizations and events that they would attend. Several days ago this issue was brought up once again by Azerbaijani delegation led by Ziyafat Asgarov at the international conference called "Parliamentarians against narcotics” held in Russian State Duma. That is, Asgarov, who attended and spoke at the plenary meeting of the conference, stated that an international cooperation would be needed to tackle the distribution and trafficking of drugs: "Gray zones are created to traffic narcotics in the territories of the sovereign states under the dubious interpretation of the right to self-determination that does not align with the international law. This concerns the Republic of Azerbaijan, particularly with regards to Nagorno-Karabakh. The functionality of the central government in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh is completely ruled out. This has led to the creation of a fertile ground for groups to operate illegal trafficking of drugs in these territories”.
Although Azerbaijan has repeatedly raised awareness to this issue, the international community remains indifferent. Why is the international community turning a blind eye to growing and trafficking narcotics in Karabakh?
MP and political scientist Aydin Mirzazadeh told "Kaspi” that it was a huge problem in the world, not only in Azerbaijan: "It’s indeed true that the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and other territories that are not under our control, have become an ideal place for growing and trafficking drugs. The world should see where the danger is coming from. Unfortunately, the existence of double-standards prevents the issue from being publicized. They think that they can bury this "small issue” by defending the territorial claims of the Armenian nationalists. As a result, Europe faces tragedies that are worse than they expected”.
Mirzazadeh added that indifference to Armenian separatism led to the events in Catalonia: "The conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh and narcotics business in the occupied territories should seriously concern the world”.
Head of "Atlas” Research Center and political expert Elkhan Shahinoghlu stated that illegal economic activity exists in every region plagued by separatism: "Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh are always in need of financial support. This is an uncontrolled area and they are also sharing a border with Iran. Our law enforcement agencies have seized narcotics at our border with Iran many times. It’s possible that Iranian mafia groups are using the uncontrolled territories in Karabakh for their purposes. Normal countries would never agree to such an arrangement. But the occupied Azerbaijani territories are under the control of separatists. It’s highly likely that Armenian separatists are operating illegal drug business. At the same time, Armenia supports the separatists so that they will have access to additional source of income”.
According to Shahinoghlu, Azerbaijani officials and civic society institutions have for many years raised global awareness to the issue: "But unfortunately, there is no serious response. Thus, the only way of ending drug trafficking in Karabakh is by liberating these territories and strengthening Azerbaijan’s control. This is one of the reason why this issue is brought to the attention of the international organizations and foreign diplomats. Without achieving this, the separatist regime in Karabakh will use the gray zone to do anything they want. The narcotics trafficked through Karabakh first and foremost poisons the citizens of European countries. Therefore, European countries should indeed be interested in this issue”.