French co-chairman post of Minsk Group is queried at OSCE PA
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 27 / Trend M.Aliyev /
The question of keeping the French co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group has been raised by the Azerbaijani delegation at the 11th session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, deputy chairman of the Azerbaijani Parliament Bahar Muradova told Trend on Monday.
She said the Azerbaijani delegation raised a number of important questions at the first plenary session of the OSCE in Vienna.
"In particular the question of what extent it is possible to believe the impartiality of France as a co-chair of the Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, taking into account that it adopted a law criminalising the denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
"How does the OSCE assess this law against the terms of freedom of speech and opinion? Also, what is the attitude of the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly to France's step," Ms Muradova said. She noted not an abstract rather than concrete answer was given to these questions.
"In particular, it was said that it's necessary to take advantage of the existing format of the OSCE Minsk Group, to look only to the future and identify suitable targets for the solution of the problem," Ms Muradova said.
She said during a debate a member of the French delegation said that the aforementioned law is directed not only against Turkey and not only the "Armenian genocide", but all mass murders committed and bloodshed.
"The French representative found it necessary to remind us that this law is being considered by the Constitutional Council and has not yet come into force," she said.
No one in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly except for the Azerbaijani delegation expressed regret in relation to the law being adopted in France, Ms Muradova noted.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of
Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven 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 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.