By Rashid Shirinov
NATO reiterates its support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty, reads the Declaration signed by the heads of state and government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Brussels on July 11.
“We continue to support the right of all our partners to make independent and sovereign choices on foreign and security policy, free from external pressure and coercion,” the document says.
NATO noted that it continues to support efforts towards a peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the South Caucasus based upon the principles of territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty and the norms of international law, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act.
“We urge all parties to engage constructively and with reinforced political will in peaceful conflict resolution, within the established negotiation frameworks,” the declaration reads.
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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