By Rashid Shirinov
Italy will make every effort for a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Italian President Sergio Mattarella said on July 31.
He made the remarks at a meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
Mattarella noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot have a military solution and the settlement must be only political.
He stressed that Italy will continue a balanced policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including during its OSCE chairmanship, and will make every effort to achieve an exclusively peaceful settlement within its co-chairmanship in the OSCE Minsk Group.
It it noteworthy that the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, through the work of the OSCE Minsk Group and the efforts of its three co-chairs, was included into priorities’ list of the Italian OSCE chairmanship this year.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with signing 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.
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.
Meanwhile, the OSCE Minsk Group, created in 1990s to find a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is still working on the issue. It is co-chaired by France, the Russian Federation, and the United States. It is also noteworthy that Italy, chairing the OSCE this year, is one of the permanent members of the Minsk Group.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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