Azerbaijan Submits Official Position on PACE Co-Rapporteur’s Visit to Region in Strasburg – Ambassador
France, Strasburg, 23 January / Trend corr. A.Maharramli/ The position of Official Baku on the visit of Edward O'Hara, the PACE co-rapporteur to the Nagorno-Karabakh, in order to study the cultural heritage in the South Caucasus, was disclosed during the meeting of the parliamentary delegations of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Strasburg on 23 January, MP Arif Mammadov, the head of the Azerbaijani representative at the Council of Europe, reported Trend.
Edward O'Hara, the British MP's had been planning to visit Armenia and Azerbaijan, since summer 2006. The visit was postponed due to the disagreement of the route of the visit to the Azerbaijani occupied territories. Azerbaijan stated about the possibility of the visit by PACE co-Rapporteur to Nagorno-Karabakh only via the Azerbaijani territory.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry called on the representatives of international community, not to pay visit to the Azerbaijani occupied territories through the territory of Armenia. However, still the representatives of the international organizations visited Nagorno-Karabakh and the other occupied territories of Azerbaijan via Armenia.
During the meeting the Armenian representatives stated that in spite of the conflict, the study of the cultural heritage of the region is necessary. The meeting was attended by the heads of the Azerbaijani and Armenian parliamentary delegations to PACE, Samas Seyidov and Ovanes Ovenasyan, as well as Kristtofer Greyson, the chairman of the Council of Europe, and Arif Mammadov, the Ambassador.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988, due to the Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, the Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven neighbouring districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement which ended the active hostilities. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding the peaceful negotiations.
In January 2005, PACE passed a resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which reflects the fact of occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia and proposes a peaceful settlement of the problem.