International Crisis Group Presents Recommendations to Azerbaijan, Armenia on Resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

International Crisis Group Presents Recommendations to  Azerbaijan,   Armenia on Resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Azerbaijan, Baku, November 17/ Trend , corr N. Abdullayeva/ The International Crisis Group has presented its recommendations to Azerbaijan and Armenia on the resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenian and Azerbaijani governments should reach agreement on a document of basic principles making provision for security guarantees and the deployment of international peacekeepers; withdrawal of Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh forces from all occupied territories adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh, with special modalities for Kelbajar and Lachin; return of displaced persons, according to the report of ICG on the settlement of the conflict.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. 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 negotiations.

Conflicting sides should determine Nagorno-Karabakh's final status to be determined eventually by a vote, with an interim status to be settled on until that time; reopening of all transport and trade routes, according to the document posted on Organization's website.

Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the De Facto Nagorno-Karabakh Authorities recommended to observe 1994ceasefire, refrain from the use of force, halt the rise of defense budgets and cease belligerent and provocative rhetoric directed at the other.

The de facto Nagorno-Karabakh authorities should end support for settlement of occupied territories with Armenians, including putting an end to privatisation, infrastructure development and establishment of local government structures in those areas;

Azerbaijan should allow Karabakh Azeris to elect the head of their community and make a concerted effort to increase transparency and reduce corruption so that oil revenues are used to benefit all citizens, particularly internally displaced persons (IDPs).

ICG recommends Minsk Group co-chairmen (France, Russia and the United States) and Wider International Community make a renewed effort to secure agreement on basic principles, with remaining points of disagreement clearly indicated, in order to maintain continuity in the process and to provide a starting point for negotiations between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and raise the seniority of the co-chair representatives and make resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict a key element of bilateral and multilateral relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan. ICG proposes to increase the role of the Special Representative for the South Caucasus (EUSR), who should observe the Minsk process, support direct contacts with all parties, travel to Nagorno-Karabakh, visit IDPs in Azerbaijan and, with the Commission, assess conflict-related funding needs.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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