Matthew Bryza says PACE draft resolution on Karabakh "precise and balanced"
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov.6
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Matthew Bryza, former US Assistant Secretary for South Caucasus, ex-ambassador to Azerbaijan, positively assessed the draft resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Nov.4 on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"The PACE statement is precise and balanced, and reflects a deep understanding of the full range of issues associated with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Bryza told Trend.
In the mentioned draft resolution, the PACE Political Affairs Committee called for the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan. It also called for the establishment of full sovereignty of Azerbaijan in these territories, in the framework of the OSCE Minsk process.
By adopting this statement, the Political Affairs Committee expresses its desire for the Council of Europe to take a more active role in supporting the OSCE Minsk Group's efforts to reach a framework agreement for settling the conflict on the basis of the Basic Principles presented by the Minsk Group seven years ago in the Madrid Document, Bryza said.
He said the statement reiterates long-standing calls by the international community for occupying troops to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven surrounding regions.
"These factors, along with the immediate call for cessation by both sides of armed hostilities along the line of contact, underscore the three core elements of the Helsinki Final Act, on which any settlement of the conflict must be based: the territorial integrity of states, the self-determination of peoples and the non-use of force," he said.
Bryza noted that the draft resolution of PACE is a superbly drafted statement, which, like the statements of 10 years ago that it commemorates, may not have any practical impact because the Council of Europe has no means to implement such statements.
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.
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