Statement: Azerbaijan welcomes focus of Slovak OSCE Chairmanship on preventing conflicts

Statement: Azerbaijan welcomes focus of Slovak OSCE Chairmanship on preventing conflicts

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan.12

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Azerbaijan welcomes the focus of the Slovak Chairmanship in OSCE on preventing conflicts, Trend reports citing a statement issued by the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to OSCE.

“The Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan warmly welcomes the OSCE Chairperson-in Office Miroslav Lajčák to the Permanent Council and thanks him for presentation of priorities of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship. Azerbaijan and Slovakia enjoy good and friendly relations. Successful visit of the Prime Minister Pellegrini to Azerbaijan in November 2018 provided new impetus for further strengthening and expanding our cooperation in different areas of mutual interest. Azerbaijan highly values the willingness of Slovakia to take the responsibility for chairing our organization in this challenging period. We support Slovakia’s aim to promote dialogue, trust and stability in the OSCE area, which in our firm belief rests on common adherence to all OSCE principles and commitments, starting from the Helsinki Final Act,” said the statement.

The statement reads that in light of complex, multi-faceted threats and challenges promoting effective multilateralism should be a common duty and Azerbaijan welcomes its inclusion among the Slovak Chairmanship priorities.

Further, the statement says that OSCE with its concept of comprehensive and cooperative security can be a critical pillar of multilateralism.

“Strict compliance with the generally accepted norms and principles of international law and the fulfillment in good faith of obligations assumed by states are imperatives to that end. Slovak Chairmanship can count on our support in ensuring good functioning of our organization. We are calling on the OSCE participating states concerned to allow earliest adoption of decisions on the 2019 OSCE Unified Budget and providing funding for essential infrastructural investments,” said the document.

“We welcome focus of the Slovak Chairmanship on preventing, mediating and mitigating conflict and its humanitarian consequences. Existing conflicts in the OSCE area remain the most serious threat to peace and security. Challenges emanating from these conflicts require consistent efforts aimed at their earliest resolution on the basis of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders of affected participating States. Addressing the plight of millions of forcibly displaced persons in accordance with the set of OSCE commitments, in particular those reflected in the Lisbon Summit Document of 1996, will help alleviating their sufferings.”

Azerbaijan welcomes that energy cooperation is one of the priorities of the Slovak Chairmanship in the economic dimension, according to the document.

‘OSCE participating States undertook a number of commitments in the economic and environmental dimension, recognizing, inter alia, importance of cooperation in the field of energy on both bilateral and multilateral basis. We encourage the Slovak Chairmanship to keep the issue of promoting connectivity through transport and trade facilitation high on the agenda of the organization. Azerbaijan expects that discussions within the Economic and Environmental Forum cycle, as well as practical engagement this year will provide ample opportunities for strengthening security in the OSCE area,” reads the statement.

“We support the intention of the Slovak Chairmanship to strengthen tolerance and nondiscrimination and to use the OSCE toolbox to prevent radicalization and violent extremism leading to terrorism. In this regard, it is also important to implement Basel tasking to strengthen OSCE’s capacities in combating tolerance and discrimination against Muslims, Christians and members of other religions. In conclusion, we once again thank Minister Lajčák for his appearance at the Permanent Council and wish him a successful Chairmanship.”

OSCE Chair and Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak named the priorities of OSCE chairmanship on Jan.10, 2019.

In particular, he noted that OSCE will work to harness opportunities created by positive momentums in the process of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Lajcak pointed out that Slovakia will focus on how conflict is mediated, resolved and prevented - as well as on people who are living through it.

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.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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