Nagorno-Karabakh's Azerbaijani community accuses Minsk Group co-chairs of double-standards

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 27 April 2009 13:12 (UTC +04:00)
Nagorno-Karabakh's Azerbaijani community accuses Minsk Group co-chairs of double-standards

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 27 / Trend , A. Huseynbala/

Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh accuses the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs of double-standards.

"The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs who deal with the resolution of the conflict have not held meetings with Azerbaijani community for a long time," member of Nagorno-Karabakh's Azerbaijani Community public union and member of parliament Elman Mammadov told Trend .

The OSCE Minsk Group hold meeting with the Armenian community in Khankandi while they hold no meeting with Azerbaijani community.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Mammadov said the co-chairs are holing one-sided consultation with a self-declared republic in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"The countries which co-chairs represent say they recognize and respect Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and they do not recognize any other state in Azerbaijan's territory. But despite this co-chairs deny statements of their countries by their steps," he added.

He said the co-chairs' visiting Khankandi during a tour to the region and meeting with heads of the unrecognized separatist body is not a right approach.

"It is disrespect for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. If you do not recognize self-declared body, then why you meet with them? We will try to eliminate discrimination in their activities," Mammadov said.

He said the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh will make efforts so that the co-chairs will certainly meet and hold consultations with the Azerbaijani community during a visit to the region.

"The community will undergo serious organizational changes soon. We want to make it clear for the opposite side that the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh has enough authority and strength and wants its lands to be liberated," Mammadov said.

He said public union is holding consultations with head of the Azerbaijani community and Shush administrative body Bayram Safarov on this issue. 

The public union was granted state registration in October 2006. First leader of the union and head of the Shush administrative body Nizami Bahmanov died in September 2008. The union was co-founded by members of parliament Havva Mammadova and Elman Mammadov. 

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev appointed Bayram Safarov head of the Shusha administrative body in late February. Bayramov has also been elected head of the Nagorno-Karabakh Azerbaijani Community public union.

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