Council of Europe’s Position on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Should Change: Azerbaijani Speaker
Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 February /corr. Trend I.Alizade / Azerbaijan considers it necessary for the Council of Europe to change its position on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Serious sanctions must be imposed with regards to aggressive Armenia, which has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani territories. The resolutions by the international organization with regards to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be implemented," Oktay Asadov, said the Chairman of Azerbaijan Parliament, on 8 February at a meeting with Lord Russell Johnston, the Head of the Sub-committee on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Asadov provided comprehensive information on the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Parliament's Press Service reported.
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 the Resolution 1416 in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. The Resolution says that Armenia occupies the Azerbaijani territories. It also contains various suggestions for the settlement of conflict.
Asadov said that it is necessary for the international organizations, including the Council of Europe, to change their positions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "The Council of Europe should take measures for the implementation of resolutions," he said.
The Azerbaijani Speaker said that more than 100,000 people were expelled from Armenia in 1988 and still more than one million internally displaced persons, as a result of the Armenian occupation, remain in hard conditions.
Asadov said that Baku supports organizing the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian MPs in Strasburg, with the initiative of the Sub-committee and conducting certain conferences for this purpose.
"However, drastic decisions should be made at these events, as well as the concrete steps should be taken to implement them. Serious sanctions must be imposed against the aggressor. There is a need to put an end on the unconstructive position of Armenia, and the decision made should not stay on pages only," the Speaker said.
Russell said that the Council of Europe highly appreciates Azerbaijan's will to peacefully settle the conflict. He highly assessed Asadov's support for holding meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian MPs.