PACE chairman to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijani and Armenian delegations (UPDATE)
the details were added (the first version was posted at 4:55)
France, Strasbourg, June 24 / Trend, A. Maharramli /
The Azerbaijani and Armenian delegations are expected to meet at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), PACE chairman Jean-Claude Mignon told journalists at a press conference organized as part of the summer session of the organization, while answering a question about the Karabakh question.
"We will discuss the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on June 26 with the Azerbaijani and Armenian delegations," he said. "There is a real desire to achieve progress on the matter. It is necessary to take advantage of Armenia's chairmanship in the CE Committee of Ministers, in which, Austria, then Azerbaijan will preside after Armenia."
Mignon also clarified his objections to the restoration of the activity of the PACE subcommittee on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"We touched on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue at the meeting of the PACE Bureau and the Standing Committee in Yerevan," he said. "These discussions were a continuation of my South Caucasus visit. I had interesting meetings in these countries. I also had an interesting meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku. It is clear that Azerbaijan is willing to accept the Madrid principles prepared and put forward by the OSCE Minsk Group. I think this is very important. My position on the issue is clear. I opposed the restoration of the PACE subcommittee's activity on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. What is the reasoning behind my position? I believe that the only organization authorized to deal with this issue is the OSCE Minsk Group. Any initiative could reduce the significance of the Minsk Group's work. I fully rely on the activity of Minsk Group."
According to Mignon, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue will not be discussed in PACE as a current issue.
"It will be necessary to specify the format," he stressed. "But we want to invite co-chairmen of the Minsk Group to PACE in the near future and to listen to them. One can get more precise information about the Minsk Group's work on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We proceed from the Madrid principles in this issue."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan.
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 peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the occupied territories.