Details added (first version posted on 14:40)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 17
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Visits to a number of countries, in particular to the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, by people who present themselves as representatives of the illegal regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories are one of the constituent elements of illegal actions in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, Deputy Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev told reporters in Baku Nov. 17.
Hajiyev said that France is one of the co-chair countries, and the essence of the mediatory mission requires that a mediator country show balanced attitude and avoid taking biased steps.
“There are such phenomena as the twinning process of some French cities with occupied territories and cities of Azerbaijan, visits to France by people presenting themselves as leaders of the illegal regime,” Hajiyev noted. “We consider this to be incompatible with the commitments undertaken by France as a co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group, and this should be stopped.”
He said that in this context, Azerbaijan’s diplomatic mission will express the country’s serious discontent to the French side.
“The Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region also expressed its attitude to this issue,” said Hajiyev. “If such a person as Bako Sahakyan visits France, equality should be ensured in relation to communities. If we consider the issue as part of the human rights, both communities are equal, thus, special treatment of one community and violation of the rights of the other community is gross violation of human rights. Therefore, if France and other countries want to contribute to the conflict’s settlement process, first of all, the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories should be ensured and the right of IDPs to return to their homes should be guaranteed.”
He added that as part of this process, a dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh region should be encouraged.
“Therefore, the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries and the world community in this direction would be useful,” he said.
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.