Switzerland condemns military attacks on civilians – envoy (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.1
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
Switzerland condemns violent incidents and military attacks on civilians, Ambassador of Switzerland to Azerbaijan Philipp Stalder said in an interview with AzerNews and Trend.
“As far as Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is concerned, the mandate of the peace process is clearly given to the OSCE Minsk group. Although we are not a member of this format, we fully support the co-chairs of the Minsk Group and favor a structured negotiation process in order to find a sustainable solution to the conflict based on the principles of international law. Switzerland condemns violent incidents and military attacks on civilians,” the ambassador added.
Stalder pointed out that the new OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador Thomas Greminger, is a former Swiss diplomat.
“Switzerland indeed has a long tradition in playing an active role in peace processes - in cases where both parties in a conflict ask us to do so,” said Stalder. “Many negotiations and meetings took place in Switzerland. Furthermore, Switzerland offers its good services to the international community and currently represents the interest of Russia in Georgia and vice-versa as well as the interests of US in Iran.”
The ambassador noted that Swiss diplomacy has vast experience in the field of mediation.
“In the past, presidential meetings between leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia took also place in Switzerland, the last in December 2015 in Bern,” he added.
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.
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