Joao Soares appointed OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus

Joao Soares appointed OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 10 /Trend, /

Joao Soares was appointed OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus, including for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Parliamentary Assembly President Petros Efthymiou announced the appointment today in the plenary of the 20th Annual Session after consulting with delegations from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.

"Joao Soares has extensive knowledge and personal relationships with important interlocutors in the region. In addition, he has the necessary diplomatic skills to help bring people of all backgrounds together and focus the needed political attention on the continuing conflicts in the Caucasus. I look forward to his work adding a parliamentary component to ongoing discussions," President Efthymiou said.

Soares said, that he honored to fill this role to help build stronger bridges between parliamentarians in the area, reinforce ongoing talks throughout the Caucasus, and do what we can to support the OSCE Minsk Group process to bring about lasting peace in the region.

Joao Soares is a Lawyer and a Publisher.He was member of the European Parliament (1994/95), Deputy Mayor (1990-1995) and Mayor of Lisbon (1995-2002). Currently he is Town Councillor at the Municipality of Sintra.

Member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly since 2002.Two-term was president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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