By Rashid Shirinov
OSCE will continue to support the work of the Minsk Group co-chairs for the final settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said at the UN Security Council meeting in New York on March 8.
The organization is focused on protracted conflicts in the OSCE region, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said.
Alfano has earlier noted that the Italian OSCE Chairmanship rightly continues the policy of the previous OSCE chairing country and intends to contribute to the creation of conditions to resolve protracted conflicts.
Armed conflicts in the OSCE area, such as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, conflicts in Georgia, Ukraine and Transnistria, have caused much suffering, displacement and destruction. All these conflicts must be solved through political means rather than by military force.
As for the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia still shows its reluctance to engage in serious talks to resolve the issue. The countries 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.
Until now, 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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