Azerbaijani top official: Double standards applied in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 8 / Trend S. Agayeva /
Azerbaijan calls on the OSCE Minsk Group member states to abandon double standards in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Head of the Foreign Relations Department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Novruz Mammadov told Trend on Thursday. He was commenting on the outcome of the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting held in Vilnius.
He said it is disappointing that some Western countries, OSCE member states, international organizations, and co-chair countries, analyzing the processes occurring in the 21st century, and considering the fact that this conflict is a great threat to the European security, approach it within the norms of international law created by them.
"I think they should give up an offer "agree by yourselves, so that we could support you", Mammadov said.
He said that they should themselves realize that making such proposals, supporting the Armenian side by various ways, holding various secret negotiations with it, various proposals, bringing together various ministers and signing protocols with them, etc., does not help the common deal - resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Unfortunately, today double standards are evident in many global processes, including in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mammadov said.
The OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Vilnius, held on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, was to say its say, he added.
"In the document adopted by the organization the co-chairs encouraged the parties on resolving the conflict to be more active. And this is natural, since the OSCE has a reason for such an appeal. In the process of negotiations Azerbaijan has taken all the positive steps in the peace talks over the past seven years, whereas, it previously hardly agreed to them. After Azerbaijan accepted the Madrid principles and defined confidence-building measures in certain circumstances, the Armenian side refuses all and does not want to join the confidence building measures," Mammadov underlined.
At the same time, the Vilnius statement should not be the only step, he added.
"OSCE member states, co-chair countries realize that no matter how many steps are taken, how many statements are issued and proposals are made, Armenia, as you see, does not renounce its evil plans, attempting to delay the negotiation process and profit by all of the opportunities for this purpose," Mammadov said.
The joint statement by the OSCE Minsk Group's three co-chair countries and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict parties issued in Vilnius calls for continuing negotiations to resolve the conflict within the Minsk Group.
With regard to the perspectives of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents' meeting, Mammadov said that it is necessary to the negotiation process in any case.
"It will be more difficult to resolve the conflict without it. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan's will in the negotiation process is focused on the peaceful settlement of the conflict, the country has more patience. The country should return its territories back by all means. Now crucial and important task associated with it falls on the co-chairs. On the one hand, unresolved conflict imposes great responsibility on Armenia. The Armenian leadership in the eyes of the world confirms who and what they are. On the other hand, following this way, they lead themselves to the edge of a collapse. They have only one purpose - to extend their stay in power," Mammadov said.
Mammadov believes that it is necessary to continue the negotiation process in any case.
However, he expressed concerns over Armenia's possible attempts to delay the process.
"The co-chair countries are experiencing certain processes - financial crisis and presidential elections and all these factors may influence the negotiations. Azerbaijan is ready to continue the negotiation process in all cases," Mammadov said.
With the hope for the efficiency of the co-chairs' activity, it is necessary to take certain steps to organize such a meeting [Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents]. From a theoretical point of view, such a meeting within an informal CIS summit in Moscow is possible, since the two presidents will attend it. There is a need for such a meeting, Mammadov underlined.
"But were the co-chairs able to carry out sufficient work in this regard? Is the Armenian side ready to take certain steps to continue the negotiations?" he said.
With regard to possible involvement of new structures and organizations to the negotiation process, Mammadov said of course, Azerbaijan has not always pleased with the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group, but at the same time, one should admit that the co-chairs are also trying to address the problem.
"In fact, the Minsk Group represents diplomats from three countries and they do not have such high mandates and resources. I believe that the OSCE and these countries' leaders should grant them these mandates. On the other hand, it is necessary to slightly change the attitude as the conflict is a problem for the European security. As you know, after the Second World War, the countries, which are now entering this Minsk Group, prepared the so-called mechanism of norms of international law to use them in interstate relations.
Unfortunately, today I observe some indifference to these norms of international law and some doubt on the use of international law in the activity of international organizations and the co-chairs. And I cannot understand it. It is time to abandon the principle of "agree by yourselves and we will support". The conflict has broken out, one of the conflict sides has some responsibility, another side should answer - it is necessary to define and express a position. In this case, of course, it will be easy to reach resolution of the conflict," Mammadov 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 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.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Novruz Mammadov'statement can be also followed on his personal Twitter page at www.twitter.com / NovruzMammadov