By Rashid Shirinov
Kyrgyzstan has supported an article of the declaration adopted at the 13th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Islamabad on March 1 regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Pakistani media reported on December 26.
Kyrgyzstan has recently sent a diplomatic note to the ECO Secretariat about the country’s joining the articles of the final statement of the ECO summit, the report notes. This means that the country supports the declaration’s article on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its settlement within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
In the document, heads of the ECO member countries expressed concern that the unresolved conflicts in the ECO area, particularly the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, hamper economic development and realization of the region’s potential to the full, as well as regional and wider cooperation format.
The declaration noted importance of the efforts to resolve these conflicts in line with norms and principles of international law, particularly taking into consideration the territorial integrity and sovereignty of countries.
However, Kyrgyzstan refused to join this declaration at that time. Later, commenting on this approach of Bishkek, the Spokesman of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev said that the position of Kyrgyzstan, which did not accede to the political clauses in the ECO Summit's declaration, was absolutely incomprehensible.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.
Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal. Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. within the OSCE Minsk Group have produced no tangible results so far.
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