OSCE: OSCE may be single platform for resolving conflicts
Kazakhstan, Astana, Nov. 29 / Trend A. Maratov /
Protracted conflicts are a major concern of the OSCE. The key challenge facing the upcoming OSCE summit in Astana is to find a way to effectively resolve existing problems, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Petros Efthimiou said at a press conference today.
The summit will be held on Dec. 1-2.
"The OSCE may be the single platform that is capable of providing a mechanism for resolving problems associated with conflicts," he said. "We will adhere to the position of mutual aid in finding solutions to protracted conflicts, including Nagorno Karabakh, at this summit."
He added that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is one of the strongest international bodies in terms of gaining trust in inter-parliamentary dialogue and shaping public opinion on conflicts.
"I am confident that the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh will improve after the summit," he said.
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 seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
The Georgian-South Ossetian conflict will also be a key point of the summit, he said.
"I would not dare to predict today what will be included in the final summit document of the summit on the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone," he said. "But this is a key issue of our organization's activity. I can say that the level of decision-making will increase."
Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, with Russian troops later occupying the city. The Russian armed forces drove the Georgian military back into Georgia proper. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic ties with the de facto states on Sept. 9, 2008.