OSCE PA officials criticize Armenia's impunity (PHOTO)

OSCE PA officials criticize Armenia's impunity (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 3

Trend:

An informal online meeting of the leadership (Bureau) of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) was held on September 2, Trend reports.

During the meeting, extensive discussions took place on a number of areas of the assembly’s activities. A report by OSCE PA President Georgy Tsereteli on events in the OSCE region was presented. Secretary General of the organization Roberto Montella spoke about the possible contribution of the OSCE PA to improving the efficiency of the organization's structures and the work that should be done by the assembly by December 2020.

OSCE PA Vice-President, Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the OSCE PA Azay Guliyev commented on the agenda of the meeting.

Noting the provocation carried out by Armenia in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district, the illegal resettlement of Lebanese Armenians to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the fact of arming Armenia by Russia, Guliyev brought to the attention of the Bureau members that such events contradict the norms and principles of international law.

Guliyev said that the initiative of OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella on "Operations of Lazarus" could be useful in systematizing the ideas and proposals collected and put forward by the OSCE PA over the years, in order to achieve certain results in strengthening the OSCE's activities and ensuring its effectiveness.

The vice-president brought to the attention of the meeting participants his views on the steps to be taken on security issues, which are the main focus of the OSCE.

"Firstly, as is known, a fact-finding mission was sent to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in 2005 under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. The final report of the mission reflected a number of violations of international law, including the illegal settlement of people on the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia," said Guliyev.

Unfortunately, the OSCE Minsk Group didn’t take concrete steps to resolve any issues raised in the mission's report, and this shows that the co-chairs aren’t interested in the soonest achievement of a just and peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, he noted.

"Armenia continues the process of illegal resettlement of Armenians from the Middle East to the occupied Azerbaijani territories. At present, Armenia, using the recent explosion in Beirut, is carrying out the process of illegal settlement of its people in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts," said the vice-president.

“In this regard, I sent a letter to President Tsereteli, and I hope that the OSCE PA and other international organizations will condemn these illegal actions of Armenia, which contradict a number of international documents, including the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute. Illegal settlement of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh under the pretext of "repatriation" and "humanitarian aid" is part of the policy of annexation of Armenia,” Guliyev said.

“The second issue is the lack of real cooperation between the OSCE PA and the Minsk Group. For some unknown reason, the co-chairs have not yet submitted a report on the activities of the Minsk Group, despite our repeated proposals and invitations from the Azerbaijani side,” the head of the Azerbaijani delegation said.

“The current situation shows that not all the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are committed to achieving a common goal - the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict through negotiations. On the contrary, the arming of Armenia by one of the co-chairs, Russia, causes concern and contradicts the mediation mandate of this country in the Minsk Group, as well as its obligations reflected in a number of international documents on arms control and regional security,” said Guliyev.

“The atmosphere of impunity and the lack of an adequate response to the illegal actions of Armenia create favorable conditions for the aggravation of the situation. As an example, I can point to the provocative attacks of Armenia on July 12-16, 2020, the shelling of our military and civilian facilities located on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the direction of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz district. As a result of the provocation, servicemen and civilians, including a 76-year-old resident of Tovuz district, were killed. The attacks by Armenia created an existential threat to oil and gas pipelines and other strategic economic infrastructure in the region,” the vice-president emphasized.

The third important issue is the need for the OSCE PA to establish institutional relations with the OSCE Minsk Group and close cooperation with it to build peaceç he said.

“The OSCE PA can facilitate the convening of the Minsk Conference with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group members, at least within the OSCE PA we can hold a meeting with the participation of the Minsk Group member states. During the meeting, it is necessary to find an answer to one question - Why the co-chairs have not yet been able to find a solution to the problem, while Armenia still does not comply with the UN Security Council resolutions and other international documents? I believe that the intervention of the OSCE PA can be useful for identifying obstacles and failures in the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, as well as achieving certain progress in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict,” Guliyev said.

The vice-president also said that for almost 30 years Armenia has been ignoring documents of international organizations, including four resolutions of the UN Security Council, OSCE and OSCE PA resolutions, requiring the unconditional withdrawal of the armed forces of the occupying country from internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan.

“Therefore, we must always remember about the tools and mechanisms offered by the OSCE, an organization uniting 57 countries, for resolving the conflict, about the mandate of this organization, and must ensure the implementation of the above resolutions requiring the withdrawal of armed forces from the territories of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia. I believe that all these issues will be reflected in the proposals and action plan that will be presented to the OSCE,” noted Guliyev.

Several members of the Bureau who spoke further at the meeting supported Guliyev's proposals that the OSCE PA should be more active in connection with the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

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