By Rashid Shirinov
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed hope for progress in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, RIA Novosti reported on May 12.
He made the remarks in the congratulatory message to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the occasion of his election as head of the government.
Guterres noted that the UN resolutely and consistently supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the conflict through peaceful negotiations.
“I hope that during this sensitive period for the process of peaceful settlement, these efforts will be more effective and will lead to positive results that will help establish lasting peace and ensure prosperity for all the peoples of the South Caucasus,” the Secretary General noted.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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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