Azerbaijan’s mission at OSCE makes statement on Armenia-occupied lands
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 9
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Every initiative suggested by Azerbaijan in the OSCE with a view to improve effectiveness and accountability of the Minsk process, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, faces immediate opposition by Armenia, said Azerbaijan's Permanent Mission to OSCE.
The mission made the remarks in its statement, delivered at the OSCE Permanent Council's meeting Oct. 8, said Azerbaijani Embassy in Austria.
In its statement, the mission noted the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, the existence of over one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs, and the ineffectiveness of the Minsk process for over 20 years.
"The Minsk process, launched since 1992, so far yielded no result and the conflict remains unresolved until this moment," read the statement. "As the Minsk Group and its co-chairmen are unable by peaceful means to end this injustice inflicted upon Azerbaijani people, we more frequently observe attempts to freeze the conflict, rather than to resolve it."
The mission says Azerbaijan's appeals to the mediating countries and Minsk Group members to persuade Armenia to take at least very small steps to advance negotiation process lacks the support of OSCE participating states.
"Such an indifferent attitude demonstrated by the OSCE Minsk Group creates an impression that the OSCE is satisfied with the current status quo in the occupied territories and the major concern is to prevent any further outbreak of hostilities," said Azerbaijan's mission.
"There has been hardly a single word of criticism of Armenia for continued occupation of our territories for more than 20 years and for reluctance of Armenia to seriously address any issue related to the conflict resolution in Vienna," the mission further noted. "The Armenian president openly challenges the territorial integrity and internationally recognized sovereignty of Azerbaijan and through such actions violates fundamental principles of the Helsinki Final Act and relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council."
Azerbaijani delegation also reiterated that calls for introduction of such measures as investigation mechanism, withdrawal of snipers or deployment of OSCE monitors along the line of confrontation in absence of withdrawal of the Armenian troops cannot be considered, because in reality it would mean to surrender to the result of continued use of force by Armenia and occupation of the territories of Azerbaijan.
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.