Baku, Azerbaijan, March 22
The unequivocal position of the world community, reflecting the unchanged format of the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, serves as a serious message for Armenia, as stated in the commentary of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry made the remarks in light of a statement by the Prime Minister of Armenia saying that that "the proposal to return Nagorno-Karabakh to the negotiating table is not a proposal to change the format, but to restore the negotiation format”, Trend reports.
“The assertion of the Prime Minister of Armenia that “the proposal to return Nagorno-Karabakh to the negotiating table is not a proposal to change the format, but to restore the negotiation format” requires explanation, since there are no documents and decisions that could support its reasonableness."
"In light of this, the latest statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs should be reiterated, in which they unequivocally supported the invariance of the format of the negotiation process. Similar statements were made by high-ranking officials of the EU. This position of the world community serves as a serious message for Armenia, and also testifies to the support of the grounded position of Azerbaijan," the commentary says.
It is noted that nevertheless, in order to clarify the realities of the negotiation process, it is considered necessary to pay attention to the following issues:
"First, UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 884 and 884 unequivocally confirm the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the international borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and also demand the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian occupying forces from the territories of Azerbaijan. These resolutions form the legal basis of the resolution of the conflict."
"Second, let us take a look at the decision of the additional meeting of the CSCE Council of Ministers in Helsinki from March 24, 1992. As is known, in this document, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office is charged to convene a peace conference in Minsk on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and in this regard, the document states: "Elected and other representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh will be invited to the Conference as interested parties by the Chairman of the Conference after consultation with the States participating at the Conference." The elected and other representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned here are referring to both the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country, and it is these communities that are mentioned in the document as interested parties. Let us remind that in the latest statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, there is a reference to both communities precisely as to the parties concerned. As to inviting interested parties to the Minsk conference, which is supposed to be convened after the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the invitation of both communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country as interested parties can be considered, of course, when an appropriate agreement is reached."
"Third, we cite an exact quote from the decision of the OSCE Budapest Summit of 1994: "Deploring the continuation of the conflict and the human tragedy involved, the participating States welcomed the confirmation by the parties to the conflict of the cease-fire agreed on 12 May 1994 through the mediation of the Russian Federation in co-operation with the CSCE Minsk Group. They confirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support given by the Security Council to the CSCE's efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict," the commentary says.
"It is emphasized that the cease-fire agreement reached on May 12, 1994, referred to in the Summit decision, was confirmed by Azerbaijan and Armenia as parties to the conflict, in accordance with the above-mentioned decision of the CSCE Council of Ministers in Helsinki from March 24, 1992, as well as the leaders of Azerbaijan and the Armenian community of the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as "interested parties" in the resolution of the conflict."
"As such, absolutely no reference to Nagorno-Karabakh as a separate party is made in this decision. Moreover, support is expressed for the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. In this regard, we would also like to recall that, a time schedule was worked out under the cease-fire agreement for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which serves as a special supplement to this agreement. In accordance with this schedule, the withdrawal of the occupying forces of Armenia from the territories of Azerbaijan was to be ensured."
"Let us recall that back in 1992, when some unfounded claims made by Armenia seriously impeded the peace process, the Chairman of the Minsk Group made a statement on the equality of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagorno-Karabakh: "The chairman from Italy did not identify a consensus among the other states of the Minsk Group regarding the thesis of Armenia, according to which the mandate from March 24 allows it to give the Armenian side of Nagorno-Karabakh a formal priority over the Azerbaijani side or even call the first side ‘elected representatives" (CSCE Information Letter No. 279, Prague, September 15, 1992). Evidently, clarity was brought on this issue back in 1992, at the initial stage of the emergence of the Minsk Group, when it was stated that both communities of Nagorno-Karabakh had equal rights."
"Finally, in its decision on the case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia, the European Court of Human Rights, putting an end to Armenia’s continued denial of its responsibility, confirmed that the separatist regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan exists because of military, political, financial and other support of Armenia, and also pointed out the fact of the exercise by Armenia of an effective control over the occupied territories of Azerbaijan."
"The time spent on searching for such unfounded allegations nullifies the efforts made for the advancement of the negotiation process, undermining the success of the peace process and ensuring the sustainable development of the region. Currently, we are experiencing the very moment when the Armenian leadership should clearly demonstrate what it prefers to spend time on," the commentary says.