By Rashid Shirinov
The status quo is unacceptable in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we must reach a political settlement, said Nicolas Suran, the ambassador of the Council of the European Union from France accredited in Brussels.
He made the remarks in his speech at a meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev with the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union delegation, including the EU’s accredited ambassadors based in Brussels, on October 4.
Suran expressed concern about the armed clashes occurring on the frontline and current state of the negotiations.
“Our goal is very clear: to reach a solution to the issue in accordance with the principles of international law and, in particular, the Helsinki Final Act, which is inviolable for all of us,” the diplomat noted.
He reminded the principles of this act – not to threat or use force, to ensure full territorial integrity of states and self-determination of peoples.
“From this point of view, you can rely on us as on the Minsk Group co-chairs, since we will not be biased in the search for the best solution between the parties,” Suran said.
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.
He added that work over the initiatives that the Minsk Group co-chairs put forward is very important.
“It is very important for us that the negotiations are soon restored, as this can ultimately provide stability and security in the region and, of course, for its peoples,” the diplomat said.
Until now, Armenia controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts. Peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs from the U.S, Russia and France have produced no tangible results so far due to Armenia’s reluctance to get engaged in constructive talks.
Walter Stevens, the chairman of the Political and Security Committee of the Council of the European Union, also attended the meeting.
"We would like not the status quo, but a political solution to be found to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said. “We fully support the [OSCE Minsk Group] co-chairs in this regard.”
The diplomat also noted he is aware that the co-chairs will visit the region soon and that a meeting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents is also planned.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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