By Rashid Shirinov
Azerbaijan is ready for substantive and intensive negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at a meeting with the OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger on September 12.
Having welcomed Greminger and the members of the delegation, the foreign minister stressed the importance that Azerbaijan attaches to cooperation with the OSCE as a regional organization.
While noting the fundamental principle of the security indivisibility within the OSCE, Mammadyarov stated the importance of all member states to be committed to their obligations under the Helsinki Final Act.
In this regard, the FM stressed that Armenia, having grossly violated the commitments it had undertaken as an OSCE member state under the Helsinki Final Act, through the use of force continues to occupy the territories of Azerbaijan: the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding administrative regions.
Pointing out that the OSCE has been involved in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict since its establishment, Mammadyarov stated the need to intensify efforts to change the status quo based on occupation and to withdraw Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The FM added that the illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan remains a primary threat to regional peace and security.
Recalling that the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs was formed on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Helsinki Final Act, Mammadyarov stressed that Azerbaijan is ready for substantive and intensive negotiations to achieve progress in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and ensuring a lasting and just peace in the region.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of 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.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
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.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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