OSCE Minsk Group Should Continue Its Work: Azerbaijani Vice Speaker

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 17 September 2008 13:03 (UTC +04:00)
OSCE Minsk Group Should Continue Its Work: Azerbaijani Vice Speaker

Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 September / Trend corr. I.Alizade / The Azerbaijani Parliament considers important the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, which mediates is the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to continue its work.

"There is no need for a new mediation format between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the Minsk Group should continue its work," Ziyafat Asgarov, the first vice speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament told journalists on 17 September.

For peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1992 about 10 OSCE countries established Minsk Group. Since 1997, Minks Group includes co-chairmen from three countries - USA, Russia and France.

After the conflict between Georgia and Russia there were reports on whether the Minsk Group would continue its activity in Azerbaijan.

Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven regions around it. The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakh's seven surrounding regions. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful, but fruitless negotiations.

"Despite of its activities since 1992 the Minsk Group has failed to achieve any result, which we expect. However, establishment of a new mediation format will mean the waste of time, because new mediators will need time to get familiarization with the situation," Asgarov said.

The Minsk Group co-chairing countries should seek to solve the conflict within the framework of the international legal standards.

"The Minsk Group Co-Chairs should know that there is no way but to solve the conflict under the rule of international law," he said. The core matter in the settlement of the conflict depends on Armenia's position.

"We will wait until Armenia arrives at a decision that the conflict continuing in the current way is fruitless for them, as well," the first vice speaker said.

The Armenian Government pursues wrong foreign policy, he said. Therefore, tensions will go on inside this country. " Armenia should take wise steps and normalize relations with its neighbors, especially with Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as give back territory of the neighboring country."

Even after the South Ossetia conflict, Azerbaijan keeps in force its position to liberate its territories through war, Asgarov said.

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