Azerbaijan expects undertaking practical steps by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen with a view to intensifying the negotiations.
This was announced by the Azerbaijani delegation to the OSCE at the 1163rd Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in response to the statements by the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE MG, the Head of the HLPG and the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office on the Conflict Dealt with by the Minsk Conference in Vienna Nov.9, the Azerbaijani mission told Trend.
The Azerbaijani delegation reiterated that the country welcomes the efforts of the Co-Chairmen aimed at reinvigorating the substantive, results-oriented talks.
“The summit of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, held in Geneva, on 16 October 2017, is the step in right direction. The meeting proved that attempts to precondition the resumption of substantive talks are doomed to failure. We generally positively assess the fact of the meeting and its outcome, as reflected in the joint statement. We expect undertaking practical steps by the Co-Chairmen with a view to intensifying the negotiations,” the delegation said.
However, the Azerbaijani delegation continued, unlawful practice by Yerevan on altering the demographic, cultural and physical character in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan demonstrates its systematic policy aimed at consolidating the occupation and imposing a fait accompli.
“Such steps by Armenia, including armed provocations along the Line of Confrontation, undermine the peace efforts, and shall be comprehensively addressed by the OSCE Minsk Group and its Co-Chairmen,” the Azerbaijani delegation said, further urging the OSCE participating States to implement their commitments under international humanitarian law and human rights instruments to prevent and reverse illegal economic and other activities of their natural and legal persons, wherever located.
Further reminding that the UN Security Council resolutions, the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the decisions and documents of OSCE form the basis for the conflict resolution, the Azerbaijani delegation said if Armenia is genuinely interested in seeking a political solution to the conflict, then it must engage constructively in the conflict settlement process on this precise basis.
“The step-by-step approach for the conflict settlement has no alternative and remains the best chance for achieving a peace. The underlying concept of this approach is based on removing consequences of the conflict, which are identified in the UN Security Council resolutions, in particular starting with withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces, while deferring remaining political issues for future negotiations within the Minsk Conference. This approach is the main thrust and is at the core of the proposals currently on the negotiation table,” the delegation said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries 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 districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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