Baku, Azerbaijan, July 14
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Norway, at an informal ministerial meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Austria this week, called on the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Sebastian Kurz to protect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Addressing the informal ministerial meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Mauerbach, Norway’s Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary Tone Skogen said that in times of crisis, changing security landscapes and an uncertain future, international cooperation based on common principles and norms is more important than ever.
“The OSCE commitments are our common heritage, carefully elaborated through consensus. We need to recommit to these standards and to this spirit of cooperation,” she noted.
“Today, unfortunately, we witness that some participating states fail to comply with their OSCE commitments,” said Skogen. “This is the reason for the deadlock we are in right now. This is the reason for the lack of trust and compromise in our organization.”
Threats to and violations of participating states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity persist, be it in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova or Azerbaijan, added he Norwegian official, these are threats to international order and to our common security.
According to her, unity can only be built on compliance with and full respect for OSCE commitments and international law.
“I can assure you, Norway will continue to stay principled – true to international law and our OSCE commitments. Norway will continue to exercise its right to voice concern and convey constructive criticism,” noted Skogen.
The OSCE is and must remain a key platform for dialogue, added the Norwegian deputy minister.
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.