By Rashid Shirinov
Even though two decades have passed since the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions by Armenian militaries, the conflict still remains unresolved. Efforts by the OSCE mediators to solve the conflict are often met with resistance by Yerevan.
Periodically, the Armenian militaries intensify frontline provocations to undermine the peace negotiations and maintain the status quo in the occupied Azerbaijani lands.
MP Musa Gasimli, commenting on the Armenian provocations, said that the attempts of the Armenian side to escalate the tension at the frontline have always existed, but lately they have intensified even more.
“This has a logical explanation,” he told Day.Az, further saying: “The Armenian leadership is not ready for negotiations with Azerbaijan, which is scheduled for the end of the year, so Yerevan will make every attempt to wriggle out of them.”
On the other hand, the MP added, the Armenian leadership does not disdain to fire at civilians living in the frontline regions, and intensified its illegal actions. “All this is done in order to sow panic among the civilian Azerbaijani population, with the expectation that people will leave their homes.”
Baku has repeatedly stated that the presence of the Armenian Armed Forces in the occupied territories is a major obstacle to the settlement of the conflict and threat to the regional stability.
Despite the fact that the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions demanding the Armenian troops to withdraw from Azerbaijan's occupied territories, they were ignored and have not been implemented by Yerevan yet. Although the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as other international institutions has repeatedly made statements on the conflict resolution, all of them stayed on paper without implementation.
Gasimli went on to say that now a relative intensification can be seen in the activities of mediators of the OSCE Minsk Group, especially by the American and Russian sides, which, of course, is not in the interests of Armenia.
“Yerevan understands that the initiative of holding substantive talks is put forward by Azerbaijan, so the question would be decided in accordance with the norms and principles of international law on the basis of restoring the territorial integrity of the country, which does not suit Armenia,” he said.
Gasimli noted that a meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenia presidents is planned to be held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. “I think this is the last opportunity for Armenia, which it could use reasonably, showing finally a political will to solve the long-term problem peacefully.”
The MP added that Yerevan must realize that otherwise it will face the threat of a military solution to the conflict. “International law is on Azerbaijan's side, and I think that Yerevan should also keep in mind this important fact.”
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region 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.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations that regrettably have yielded no tangible results.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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