Agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Ready for Signing: President of OSCE PA
Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend A.Gasimova / The alternative, a new war, is unthinkable in resolving the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan about Nagorno-Karabakh, Goran Lennmarker, the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, stated in an interview on the eve of its 16th Annual Session that begins in Kiev on July 5.
"The advantages of a peace accord for the two countries, Armenia and Azerbaijan, are huge, he assured.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries broke out in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims to Azerbaijan. Since 1992, 20% of Azerbaijani territories (Nagorno-Karabakh and seven nearby regions), have been under the occupation of the Armenian Armed Forces. In May, 1994 the two sides signed a ceasefire. Peace talks are still being held under the auspices of the Minsk Group of the OSCE chaired by Russia, France, and the United States, but in vain.
"Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees could return and re-start their lives. With a peace agreement in Nagorno-Karabakh, he continued, the two countries and Georgia could, in earnest, work to build a region characterized by security, democracy and prosperity
A good framework agreement that addresses the main concerns of all parties has been presented by the Minsk Group, co-chaired by France, Russia and the United States, he said. It is ready to be signed by the leaders of the two countries, if the political will is there
The Assembly's increased focus East of Vienna is in the interest of the OSCE as well as of the region itself, he said. Intensified dialogue about common problems and the sharing of experiences can be of great benefit to all.
Lennmarker expanded on his own active involvement in seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan about Nagorno-Karabakh - first as the Special Representative on Nagorno-Karabakh of the Parliamentary Assembly and now as its President
"For some time now, I have talked about 'a golden opportunity' for an agreement and now, after another visit to the Caucasus, I believe more than ever in that opportunity," said the President.