Baku, Azerbaijan, June 7
The monitoring exercises of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, are carefully prepared and agreed with the sides. They are conducted with the assistance of military escorts to ensure the safety of all participants, a spokesperson of the OSCE Chairmanship Helene Spitzer said.
"In the preparatory phase, the Personal Representative clearly defines the area in which he would like the monitoring exercise to take place. He chooses locations which provide an opportunity to evaluate the situation. A monitoring exercise is considered to be successful if the Personal Representative and his teams are led by the sides to the agreed area, which is confirmed by establishing visual contact. In addition, the Personal Representative and his teams are provided with information through briefings", spokesperson added.
Spokesperson of the OSCE Chairmanship noted that monitoring exercises are an important confidence building measure: "The Personal Representative is continuously exploring other avenues to increase confidence between the sides.”
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.