Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed a document Thursday to establish temporary special administrations in regions liberated from the occupation of Armenia in Upper Karabakh.

A temporary special administration organization will be established for each region and the Interior Ministry will appoint directors, according to the decision.

Organizations will carry out activities in coordination with the Defense Ministry and State Border Service. They will be responsible for the security of transportation and telecommunications infrastructure facilities, energy and water supply systems, water tanks, and key facilities, including private facilities that pose a high danger to the environment.

They will also be in charge of collection, inventory and protection of detected military equipment, weapons, ammunition, poisonous and explosive materials, and the protection of public order and security.

Together with relevant institutions, the organizations will conduct activities such as demining land, preventing acts such as terrorism, espionage and sabotage, taking an inventory of land and real estate, cultural assets, mines and natural resources.

Aliyev announced that more than 130 villages, four cities, and several settlements, as well as strategic locations, have been liberated from Armenia’s occupation.

Upper Karabakh conflict

Since clashes erupted Sept. 27, Armenia has repeatedly attacked Azerbaijani civilians and forces, even violating three humanitarian cease-fires since Oct. 10

The latest humanitarian truce in Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, took effect Saturday.

Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly, as well as international organizations, demand the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territory.

About 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group — co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US — was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.

World powers, including Russia, France, and the US, have called for a new and lasting cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces. 

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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