By Rashid Shirinov
The OSCE, as the world's largest regional security organization, has the core task of preventing a violent conflict and finding sustainable solutions for existing conflicts in the OSCE area, reads a joint statement by Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Foreign Ministers of Austria Sebastian Kurz and Italy Paolo Gentiloni.
The foreign ministers made the joint statement on the occasion of the upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg.
“Many crises and conflicts are sending shock waves through our European security architecture today,” said the joint statement published by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on December 7.
“We thus should further develop our conflict resolution instruments in such a way that we are able to act at all times: in both conflict prevention and mediation, in monitoring and post‑crisis rehabilitation.”
The 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council will take place on December 8-9 in Hamburg, Germany. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov will take part in the meeting.
One of the conflicts in the OSCE area is the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. France has previously proposed to hold a meeting in the format of 3+2 [three co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group and Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers] on the sidelines of the Council.
Soon after that, the Azerbaijani side informed that it backs the proposal on the meeting. However, Armenia hasn’t confirmed its consent yet.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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