Baku calls on OSCE MG not to pressure on other countries

By Laman Sadigova

Azerbaijan is dissatisfied with the OSCE Minsk Group, which hasn’t achieved progress in the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the whole period of its activity, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said February 2.

The recent statement by the OSCE co-chairs deeply frustrated Baku, making doubtful the true will of the mediators to solve the long-lasting conflict.

Baku sees the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ spreading a statement on reviewing a report in the PACE on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan at the PACE winter session as a pressure on other countries, the minister said.

The mediators attempted to counteract the discussions of two reports on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict at the PACE session.

"We remind the Assembly, as well as other regional and international organizations that the Minsk Group remains the only accepted format for the talks," the co-chairs said.

"We appreciate the interest of members of the Assembly, but urge not to take steps that could hurt the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group or hamper the continuation of the negotiations."

The Azerbaijani foreign ministry brought its dissatisfaction to the attention of the co-chair countries' foreign ministries.

“I have sent letters to the foreign ministers of Russia, France and the US and brought Baku's position to their attention,” Mammadyarov said. “Azerbaijan has a sovereign right to raise any issue at international platforms and nobody has the right to interfere in its sovereign affairs.”

Baku has repeatedly criticized the inefficient activities of the 'trio' of international mediators representing the U.S., Russia and France.

The organization does not take any efficient step to change the current status quo in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, and tries to preserve the resolution of the problem under its monopoly. The recent statement by the mediators was regarded in Baku as an attempt to prevent any outside initiative to positively affect the conflict.

Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.

Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

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