By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Bako Saakyan’s visit to Moscow caused a wave of displeasure in Baku, whose reaction did not keep long to wait.
"Entry permit for a representative of the illegal separatist regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan to Russia is undermining efforts to advance the negotiation process and contradicts Russia's mediation efforts as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group," Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Such step by Russia does not correspond to the high level of current relations between Azerbaijan and Russia and contradicts the regulatory framework of bilateral relations, in particular the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Security between Russia and Azerbaijan, and at the time prohibit and suppress the activities of individuals targeting state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of another country.
Such visits of the “head” of the illegal regime to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries can lead to an unpredictable development of the situation around the conflict. In this case, Armenian side will bear all responsibility, the ministry said.
In turn, the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan public association issued a statement in connection with the "visit" to Russia of Bako Sahakyan, positioning himself as a representative of the illegal regime established in the territories occupied by the armed forces of Armenia.
Professor Elchin Ahmedov, Chairman of the Coordination Council of the Public Association, said that the U.S., France and Russia, who are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, despite their commitments to resolve the conflict, do not take any measures to prevent the entry of Bako Sahakyan, who is positioning himself as a representative of the illegal regime established in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, into their countries.
Bako Sahakyan's visits to Belgium (in 2017), to the U.S. in March of 2018, and to France, the U.S. and Russia in November, first of all, completely contradict the principles of international law and do not meet the relevant OSCE mandate and mediation obligations.
The statement says that Bako Sahakyan is a representative of illegal regime formed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as a result of the use of military force. Providing him with the opportunity to visit foreign countries, including the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, serves to encourage the regime created through occupation, aggression and terrorist acts. Unfortunately, co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, pursuing such a policy based on discrimination, close their eyes to the violation of the rights of the Azerbaijani community of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan who were subjected to ethnic cleansing. The U.S., France and Russia are the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and act as mediators in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of a mandate provided by the international community. Instead of unilateral steps, they should strive for peace between the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, and the return of Azerbaijani internally displaced persons to their native lands.
Resolutions of the UN Security Council number 822, 853, 874 and 884 in connection with the aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan calls to ensure the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of the borders of Azerbaijan.
Although the documents of the UN Security Council demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the efforts made by the Minsk Group for 26 years have not yielded effective results due to belligerant position of the Republic of Armenia.
"The main reason for the failure of the OSCE’s peacekeeping activities in the region is precisely the lack of recognition of the fact of direct aggression by the Republic of Armenia against Azerbaijan. From this point of view, we, on behalf of the internally displaced people from the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijan Republic, that account for over 80,000 Azerbaijanis, strongly condemn and express our indignation for the “visits” of Bako Sahakyan, who position himself as a representative of the illegal regime created in the Armenian-occupied territories of Azerbaijan. We regard this step of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries as disrespect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan," the appeal said.
It is noteworthy that the visit of Bako Saaakyan to Moscow coincided with rumours about his imminent resignation. For instance, leader of the armed terrorist group "Sasna Tsrer" Zhirayr Sefilyan called the situation in Karabakh "explosive" in an interview published on November 24.
Sefilyan openly stated an intention to discuss with the authorities in Yerevan a change of power in Nagorno-Karabakh. Apparently, the leader of the Karabakh separatists, Bako Sahakyan, felt the danger and hurried to consult his curators in Moscow.
According to official documents, the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are Armenia and Azerbaijan, while the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Nagorno-Karabakh are the interested parties. So, if Armenians of Karabakh want peace, they should talk with the Azerbaijani community. This could lead to some search for compromises, and not foolish statements about the involvement of one community in the region during the negotiation process.
So, Saakyan does not shine as a party to the negotiations and his visit to Moscow is nothing but a meaningless provocation.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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