OSCE PA urges Karabakh conflict parties to return to negotiation table
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 16
By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:
The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) will meet on July 5-9 in Minsk for its 26th Annual Session, says a message posted on the OSCE PA website May 16.
With some 300 parliamentarians from North America, Europe and Asia expected to participate, the theme of this year’s Annual Session is “Enhancing mutual trust and co-operation for peace and prosperity in the OSCE region,” according to the message.
The largest event on the Assembly’s calendar, the Annual Session consists of several days of meetings featuring high-level speeches and debates, and will culminate in the adoption of the Minsk Declaration. This political document will contain recommendations to national governments, parliaments and the international community in the fields of political affairs, security, economics, environment and human rights, according to the message.
The report, titled “Enhancing Mutual Trust and Co-operation for Peace and Prosperity in the OSCE Region”, of Swedish rapporteur Margareta Cederfelt that touches upon the issues of solving conflicts in the OSCE region, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, will also be read out and discussed during the Annual Session.
According to the report, the OSCE PA regrets the lack of progress towards the settlement of the conflict.
“A return to the negotiation table by all parties is needed to avoid further military confrontation and de-escalate the situation. Participating States should refrain from using unilateral decision-making and violence that would hinder diplomatic negotiations and dialogue initiatives,” says the report.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.