By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Spain supports peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of international law, Charge d'affaires ad interim of Spanish embassy in Baku Ignacio Sanchez Taboada told Trend on November 27.
“Spain supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and its co-chairs for the solution of the conflict,” he said.
The diplomat noted that Madrid Principles represent the guidelines for solving the conflict and also the stance of Spain regarding to it: pacific solution of the conflict (non-use of force), respect of territorial integrity and international law and right to return for displaced persons.
He went on to say that Spain and Azerbaijan have important ties not only in the bilateral arena but also within the framework of multilateral relations. Spain is a party to the European Union and is very involved in the European Eastern Partnership in which Azerbaijan also participates.
“The Council of Europe and OSCE are of great relevance for Spain as they are also for Azerbaijan, and a great part of our international relations takes place in the framework of these European institutions,” said Taboada.
The diplomat pointed out that Spain and Azerbaijan share the values and principles of the United Nations and have traditionally cooperated within its institutional framework (General Assembly, Security Council, Human Rights Council, etc.).
“We have supported each other very recently to be present in different bodies of many international organizations, like the World Tourism Organizations or the International Telecommunications Union. Azerbaijan and Spain enjoy very healthy political relations. We do not have any contending topic in our bilateral agenda. Not bilateral disputes. We have provided each other mutual support in different international fora. We have a reasonable framework of international agreements which regulates our relations and cooperation, in a great variety of topics: education, sports, science, double taxation, etc.,” he added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
As a result of Armenia's armed invasion into Azerbaijan's legal territory, the two neighboring countries have remained locked in a bitter territorial dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Armenia-backed separatists seized from Azerbaijan in a bloody war in the early 1990s.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
Despite Baku's best efforts, peace in the occupied lands remains a mirage in the distance as Armenia refuses to comply with international law.
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