Germany, Berlin /corr. Trend A.Maharramli, I.Alizade / For the first time, the representative of the international organization made a legal assessment to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "The Deputy Secretary of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, Tomas Marker, stated that the principles of national self-declaration and territorial integrity are not contrary to each other. We have repeatedly highlighted it, but for the first time, the representative of the international organization mentioned it," the Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the PACE, MP Samad Seyidov, reported to Trend after the conference dedicated to the 'frozen conflicts'.
The Monitoring Committee of PACE and the German Institute for International Affairs and Security organized discussions over frozen conflicts (Nagorno-Karabakh, Trans-Dniester, Georgian-Abkhazian, and Georgian-Ossetian) in Berlin on 5 to 6 November. The forum involves both official representatives of the conflicting countries and international experts.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries appeared in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under Armenian occupation. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are holding peaceful negotiations.
In January 2005 the PACE passed a resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh. The resolution says that Armenia has occupied Azerbaijani territories. The PACE established a Committee headed by British Parliamentarian, Lord Russell Johnson, to observe the implementation of the resolution.
According to Seyidov, the second meaning of the Venice Commission's representative is that principle of self-declaration belongs to people, but not territory.
"According to the Venice Commission's representative, the best way of self-declaration is to develop in the European countries the culture, language, human rights, democracy and processes of integration into Europe. This is the opinion which we have been willing to hear for already several years. Today it was highlighted in the international organization," Seyidov said.
According to him, it was stated during the discussions that the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh should join the negotiations process. Seyidov said that Azerbaijan does not protest against it. "I said that Armenia should make compromise and withdraw its army from occupied Azerbaijani lands. Then we will talk to Armenian as our citizens. However, the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh do not want to accept Azerbaijan. Currently they do not want to weaken the line of fights," Seyidov said.