MP: Attempts to bring Karabakh separatists to negotiations not only unacceptable but dangerous
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 5
By Elchin Mehdiyev – Trend:
The attempts of bringing the Nagorno-Karabakh separatists to the negotiating table are not only unacceptable but also dangerous, Azerbaijani MP, Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Azay Guliyev said.
He made the remarks at a meeting of the Standing Committee held during the PA autumn session.
Guliyev added that a quarter of a century has passed since the beginning of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but, unfortunately, no progress has been achieved in solving the problem.
“Armenia grossly violates the norms and principles of international law, the decisions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, the Helsinki Declaration of the OSCE PA, adopted in 2015, continuing the illegal occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories,” he said.
Commenting on President of the OSCE PA George Tsereteli’s proposal about holding a meeting of the heads of parliaments of the countries that are parties to the conflict, Guliyev said that he would soon inform them about the official position of the Azerbaijani parliament on this issue.
"I think that we must use all possible means to resolve the conflict, including the meeting of the heads of the parliaments of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he added. “This can give a certain impetus to the negotiation process and help change the existing status quo."
Guliyev clarified two main components of the current situation related to the conflict settlement for the members of the Standing Committee and the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly.
“Indeed, if we do not take into account bilateral meetings of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, there are currently no real negotiations at the highest level,” he added. “The negotiation process has been suspended by the new leadership of Armenia.”
“After Pashinyan came to power, he pointedly turns a blind eye to the results achieved so far and refuses from the format of negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group,” he said. “Thus, he tries to change the format of the peaceful settlement of the issue and bring the Nagorno-Karabakh separatists to the negotiating table as an independent side. There are two sides of the conflict - Armenia and Azerbaijan. This has been confirmed by the international community and OSCE."
Guliyev stressed that Pashinyan’s unrealistic and unreasonable attempts to change the existing format are aimed at disrupting the peace negotiations and completely abandoning them.
"Each of us can clearly imagine the dire consequences of disrupting the negotiation process for peaceful settlement of the conflict," he said.
Guliyev added that Baku is ready to support a joint decision that the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh will made about their future within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, supported by international organizations.
The MP drew the attention of PA members to another aspect that should be clarified.
“Some people mistakenly call the conflict as “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, which is wrong,” Guliyev said. “Besides Nagorno-Karabakh, seven more adjacent districts of Azerbaijan are under occupation, the territory of which is three times bigger than the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the population is six times bigger than the population of Nagorno-Karabakh - Aghdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan districts.”
“These seven districts are not connected with Nagorno-Karabakh and we witness that Armenia uses these territories and politically manipulate them,” he added. “The status of this region is not a topic for discussion.”
"Armenia’s armed forces must be unconditionally withdrawn from these lands,” he said. “This issue cannot be a far-fetched topic of compromise."
In his speech, Guliyev stressed that by continuing the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding areas, creating an illegal puppet regime there, the political leadership of Armenia must not forget that it will not achieve anything.
"Such steps will not change anything and will not bring peace and prosperity to Armenia,” he said. “On the contrary, they will complicate the situation even more and end the lives of numerous young people."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.