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YEREVAN. – Azerbaijan must pay compensation to both Armenian refugees and their descendants who have been forced to flee their homes in Azerbaijan, leaving their property behind. Artur Ghazaryan, coordinator of the initiative group of the recently established Armenian Refugee Platform, stated about this in a conversation with Armenian News-NEWS.am, referring to the legal solution of the problems of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan.

According to him, the Armenian refugees from Baku, Kirovabad—today’s Ganja, Sumgait, Shahumyan, and Getashen do not even dream of returning to their homes, but today's Azerbaijan cannot guarantee their rights. "Armenians are the state-building people of Soviet Azerbaijan, and we have lived in all the above-mentioned cities and regions," Ghazaryan reminded.

In response to the question why during all these years the Armenian authorities did not seriously raise the issue of the rights of Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan, Ghazaryan noted that Armenia, which suffered from the devastating earthquake of 1988, when hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless, was able to shelter them. "Refugee issues cannot be resolved in a few years. Apart from property issues, integration and culture issues are also important," added the coordinator of the initiative group of the Armenian Refugee Platform.

And when asked how he describes and evaluates the policy of the Armenian authorities regarding Armenian refugees, Artur Ghazaryan assured that the Armenian authorities are ready to listen to the problems of refugees and internally displaced persons. "The Armenian Refugee Platform initiated by us has planned meetings with various authorities of our country. Then we will have meetings with the foreign countries’ diplomatic missions in Armenia. We will hold meetings with the persons in charge in the Nagorno-Karabakh [(Artsakh)] Republic,” the coordinator of the aforesaid platform's initiative group concluded.

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