OSCE MG shares concern expressed in PACE resolution
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The OSCE Minsk Group shares the concern expressed in the PACE resolution concerning the increase of tension along the contact line between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops.
"We share concerns, expressed in the resolution, regarding an increase of tensions along the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan and along the Line of Contact," the OSCE MG co-chairmen said. "We deeply regret the loss of lives, including civilians."
"We agree that the conflict has lasted too long," the statement said. "The sides should undertake all measures necessary to expedite a peaceful settlement."
"In response to questions received by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group about the report and draft resolution currently under discussion in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), we take note of the attention paid by PACE to a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement," the statement said. "We share concerns, expressed in the resolution, regarding an increase of tensions along the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan and along the Line of Contact. We deeply regret the loss of lives, including civilians."
In a draft resolution approved Nov.4, the PACE Political Affairs Committee called for the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan. It also called for the establishment of full sovereignty of Azerbaijan in these territories as part of the OSCE Minsk process.
"We are convinced that measures to reach a negotiated settlement should be based on mutual agreement between the sides," the statement said. "The Co-Chairs will continue to render assistance to the parties, taking into consideration our mandate, approved by the OSCE."
"According to the OSCE mandate, our task is to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict and in particular to facilitate negotiations on a comprehensive settlement," the statement said. "We are neither judges nor advocates for particular positions."
"There are proposals to create new negotiating formats and working groups on the settlement of the conflict," the statement said.
"We believe that in the framework of the Minsk Group there is unique mediation experience," the statement said. "The Minsk Group format is accepted by the parties and has the full confidence of all OSCE participating States. Considering the sensitivity of the negotiations, attempts to change the format or create parallel mechanisms can disrupt the negotiation process and impede progress towards a settlement. At the same time, we are prepared to cooperate with all international organizations, which demonstrate an interest in finding a just and sustainable settlement to the conflict."
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.