By Rashid Shirinov
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict holds a geopolitical risk for the South Caucasus region, because from time to time there are escalations, and violence never stops, Italian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Giampaolo Cutillo told Trend on April 27.
He said that this region is crucial as it connects Europe to Asia and North to South, noting that preserving peace in the South Caucasus means preserving better development for it.
“This is important not only for the two countries [Azerbaijan and Armenia], but for all of us,” said Cutillo. “I wish the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will happen soon. It probably will take time, but it must be done.”
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with 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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