About three months have passed since the Armenian armed forces violated the ceasefire and opened fire on civilians on July 12 in the direction of Tovuz on the border with Azerbaijan. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, which mediates in the negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, drew attention to the tension on the border and held "intensive consultations" in Paris, member of Azerbaijani Parliament Nagif Hamzayev said, Trend reports.
The MP noted that the reluctance of the OSCE Minsk Group to oppose the policy of occupation and illegal settlement of Armenians worries Azerbaijanis, who have been subjected to forced evictions, ethnic cleansing, and deportation by Armenians several times over the past two centuries.
"Intensive consultations" between the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also called on the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to begin "unconditional" negotiations in the coming weeks. The co-chairs said in a statement that "they discussed the situation in the region, paying particular attention to the tensions on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border in July." The co-chairs had a separate telephone conversation with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Jeyhun Bayramov, and Armenian Foreign Minister, Zohrab Manatsakanyan. During the telephone conversation, the ministers of the two countries were asked to clarify their positions in the coming weeks and to personally meet with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to resume substantive negotiations without any preconditions.
"The inability of the OSCE Minsk Group, which has undertaken the task of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to take a firm position on the illegal actions of Armenia, which is internationally recognized as an aggressor, also seriously undermines the credibility of the co-chairs," Hamzayev said.
"Despite four UN Security Council resolutions calling for the immediate, complete, and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan, the country continues to occupy 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory. UN Security Council resolutions are legally binding and implementation is the responsibility of every state. However, the occupying Armenia has not yet been held responsible for the failure to comply with the requirements of these four resolutions," Hamzayev said.
"The July events, the resettlement of Armenians living in Lebanon and Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh under various promises, and the Armenian policy of aggression must be unequivocally and resolutely condemned by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The situation is aggravated by the spectator approach of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the process," Hamzayev said.
"The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group should not discuss the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the sovereignty and inviolability of its internationally recognized borders, but should soon resolve the conflict based on the principles and norms of international law. More than a million of our compatriots who were forced to leave their indigenous lands must return to their homes," Hamzayev said.
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