France confirms OSCE Minsk Group no longer exists
By Ayya Lmahamad
With Azerbaijan’s victory in the Second Karabakh War and the liberation of its territories from the Armenian occupation, the OSCE Minsk Group became absolutely useless.
In the early 1990s, Armenia occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories and the OSCE Minsk Group was established to resolve the conflict in 1992. However, the organization was not able to do anything to implement the four UN resolutions, which implied the withdrawal of occupying forces from Azerbaijan’s territories.
Azerbaijan has repeatedly declared the futility of the OSCE, which for 30 years has been engaged only in issuing some statements and allegedly expressing concern but doing everything to keep the conflict as frozen as possible.
Immediately after the end of the Second Karabakh War, Azerbaijan declared the end of the Karabakh conflict and expressed its readiness to establish lasting peace in the region. Already then it was obvious that the OSCE Minsk Group has completely failed as the conflict was over. For some time after that, Armenia tried to delay the process. After the Brussels meeting held in April, it became clear that Armenia is ready for peace with Azerbaijan. It is worth recalling that as a result of the meeting, the foreign ministries of both countries were instructed to work on the preparation of a peace agreement between the two countries, as well as to begin the process of delimitation and demarcation of the borders. This means that the OSCE Minsk Group is no longer needed.
President Aliyev regularly stressed this fact and now it has also been confirmed by one of the co-chair countries, France.
On April 26, the French Foreign Ministry website published a statement that Brice Roquefeuil, who holds the position of co-chairman of the group, will visit Baku for an official visit. However, the website indicated his position as France’s ambassador for the EU’s Eastern Partnership. Thus, the French Foreign Ministry also confirmed the worthlessness of the OSCE.
Moreover, the statement says that France welcomes the recent phone conversation between the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers, as well as their decision to convene a bilateral commission on border issues and to start negotiations on a peace treaty. The statement stresses that France will continue to give its full support to this process.
The OSCE Minsk Group had almost 30 years to resolve the Karabakh conflict, however, the organization has failed in its mission.
It is worth recalling here the recent statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who said that there is no such institution as the Minsk Group.
“The U.S. and France have suspended their participation in the OSCE Minsk Group. Russia must halt its activities in light of this. As a result of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Minks Group has suspended its operations. There is no such institution,” he said.
Speaking about the Minsk Group, President Ilham Aliyev has also noted that under the current circumstances, this organization and its co-chairs are virtually non-functional. He said that the OSCE can now play a role as a credible international organization.
And the statement by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zbigniew Rau during his visit to Azerbaijan that he had accepted the new reality in the South Caucasus was in fact the last step in the end for the Minsk Group.
Thus, the promising rise of the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the conflict in the South Caucasus ended in a long and painful decline. In contrast to the 30 years of useless activity of the OSCE Minsk Group, the new format created under the mediation of Charles Michel has already produced real results in just two meetings within four months.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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