Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb.6 / Trend /
The European Azerbaijan Society's Brussels representation has sent a letter about Armenia's plan to re-open Khojaly airport, to President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, and the chairs of the European Peoples' Party (EPP), the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) and the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) in the European Parliament.
In the letter The European Azerbaijan Society strongly condemn the steps being taken to commission Khojaly Airport in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani region occupied by Armenian armed forces since 1990.
"The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, tasked with achieving a negotiated resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, had previously issued a statement in which they expressed their concern that the planned opening of the airport could lead to further increased tension. H.E Richard Morningstar, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan, subsequently commented: "The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs said that the parties need to abstain from steps that may affect the peace process. The opening of the airport in Khojaly may create tensions in the peace talks," the letter says.
According to the letter, Khojaly Airport was closed on 25 February 1992, after being occupied by Armenian forces during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The airport was rebuilt during 2010-11, but its opening has already been delayed for over a year. This action, supported by Armenia and the self proclaimed 'Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh', harms a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and violates international law and four UN Security Council Resolutions.
"We appreciate that the European Parliament has given increased attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict over the past months, but we consider this action by Armenian authorities to be contrary to ongoing EU efforts to achieve a negotiated peace. It is also inconsistent with the views expressed by the European Parliament in the report on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan adopted in 2012," the letter says.
The appeal ends by asking for a public denouncement of the airport proposal as it is a further infringement of Azerbaijani territorial sovereignty, its airspace, and a most unhelpful development at this crucial time as both sides seek, via the Minsk Group, to end the stalemate in negotiations.
A copy of the appeal has also been presented to Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Brussels representation of The European Azerbaijan Society has also addressed letters to Jagland ThorbjØrn, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Jean Claude Mignon, President of the Parliament Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), about Armenia's exploitation of Khojaly airport.
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