Baku, Azerbaijan, April 29
A lot of problems exist in the region of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and no one should turn a blind eye to them, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly George Tsereteli on April 29, Trend reports citing BelTA.
“Let’s agree that there are a lot of problems in our common home, and we must address them,” Lukashenko said. Among those problem he mentioned the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The president remarked that he probably criticizes the Organization for weak reaction too often, but resolution of the existing problems is a priority for the OSCE. “First and above all, the Organization is responsible for security on the European continent, and it is absolutely unacceptable to ignore those problems,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko added that there were not any meetings for the heads of states under the auspices of the OSCE for a long time. During those meetings the leaders could discuss current issues and try to find a way out from the situation, he said. The last event of this kind took place in Astana in 2010, and an even bigger conference took place in Istanbul in 1999, he noted.
“It was a strong conference,” he said. “Unfortunately, the leaders have not gathered together since then. In the meantime, there are a lot of issues, and they cannot be ignored. It is necessary to gather together and address them. If the participants of the meeting do not manage to solve those problems, they will at least make plans and determine prospects. If not, what is the purpose of the organization?”
The president continued by adding, “You can always rely on our support and our honesty and sincerity in all fields.”
George Tsereteli, in turn, thanked the Belarusian head of state for the organization of the 26th annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk in July 2017. He also pointed out a special nature of friendly and business relations with the chairmen of the chambers of Belarusian parliament.
“I met with Mr Andreichenko [chairman of the House of Representatives] for the third time,” he said. “It symbolizes Belarus’ proactivity in our organization, and we also want to work with the country.”
He agreed with Aleksandr Lukashenko that there are pending issues in the OSCE region. “When your neighbors have problems, these are your problems,” Tsereteli said. “I agree with you that the OSCE is a very serious organization, and many countries including Belarus are doing a lot to strengthen it. We are grateful for that.”
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.