Lack of real pressure on Armenia causes failure of OSCE MG – consul general
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.25
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
OSCE Minsk Group has been tasked for the last 20 years with mediating a resolution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, however without any tangible results so far, Azerbaijan's Consul General in Los Angeles, Nasimi Aghayev said in this article published in US The Hill newspaper.
"The major reason behind this failure is that no real pressure, in the form of sanctions or otherwise, has been applied on Armenia to respect the international principle of territorial integrity, end the invasion and allow refugees to return to their homes," said the article.
The consul general said that the lack of sufficient engagement on the part of co-chairs emboldens Armenia and its lobby, to whitewash Armenia's crimes in Karabakh and try to legitimize the invasion.
"And the California resolution should be seen as part of these efforts," Aghayev said.
The article said under the pressure from the Armenian lobby, the California legislature passed a resolution which contradicts the foreign policy of the US and its national interests.
The consul general said such resolutions undermine US's reputation in the region, harm its efforts to act as an unbiased mediator in the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and weaken its ability to consistently pursue its interests.
Instead of spending resources meddling in American politics, perhaps the Armenian lobby in America should focus on severe maladies ailing the country they advocate for, according to the article.
"Armenia is in crisis - demographically, economically and politically. Tens of thousands of young people, seeing no opportunities at home, are moving abroad for a better life. Last year a survey by the UN Population Fund found that nearly 80 percent of young Armenians would move abroad if they could. Over a million Armenians are believed to have permanently left since independence."
"Armenia's social infrastructure is gradually eroding; the economy is stagnant, heavily dependent on foreign assistance and remittances; and the country's politics remains dominated by pervasive corruption," said the article.
Aghayev said that Azerbaijan's successes have come despite the occupation of its territory by Armenia.
The article said that Azerbaijan's economy continues to develop, making up 80 percent of the economy of the whole South Caucasus region.
"Poverty rates have tumbled from almost 50 percent in 2001 to 6 percent now; Azerbaijan's capital city of Baku has become a vibrant and modern metropolis; and the country is producing a new generation of dynamic young professionals eager to contribute to their country's progress."
Aghayev added that Azerbaijan has built strong relations with the US, and has become its reliable friend and partner in a turbulent and difficult region.
"Azerbaijan has played a key role in Afghanistan, sending troops and providing a vital transport corridor for US forces and equipment there. It has been an important partner on the frontline of the fight against international terrorism. And, by opening up energy corridors to Europe, Azerbaijan is helping US allies there to strengthen their energy security."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.