After a long standstill in the negotiation process, the OSCE Minsk Group seems to increase efforts for the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
The Minsk Group co-chairs have paid another promising visit to the region this week.
All expected positive results from the visit, though it’s not clear yet whether it would even have any result. Although the co-chairs have regularly visited the region for over 20 years, these trips were largely fruitless so far.
No real result has been obvious despite the efforts of the co-chairs from Russia, United States and France.
This time, the co-chairs aimed at securing a commitment from the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents for a meeting before the end of the year.
It seems they have gotten such a commitment from the presidents. In their statement following the visit, the co-chairs announced that the presidents confirmed their commitment to hold a summit before the end of the year to discuss key elements of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
However, the most important point during the visit was the Minsk Group emphasis on the issue of ensuring the rights of refugees and internally displaced people for conflict resolution.
This new approach to the peace talks fully coincides with the position of Azerbaijan, which has suffered with this problem for the past 25 years.
After Armenia occupied the 20 percent of country’s internationally recognized territories, Azerbaijan remained face to face with the problem of refugees and IDPs. Over many years, the Azerbaijani government has done its best to solve this problem and improve the living standards of over one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs.
In a time when the world is face to face with aggravating refugee problems, the fate of one million Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs has at least become a key issue on Minsk Group’s agenda after years.
The move by the OSCE Minsk Group attracts attention on the backdrop of refugee crisis around the world.
More obviously, they began to understand that a complete resolution of the problem is impossible without a return of refugees and IDPs to their native lands.
Such a tendency by the mediators can be considered as a step forward in the negotiation process to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The rights of the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs have been grossly violated by Armenia over many years, as they are deprived of the right to live on their native lands. As a result of the Armenian occupation, these people have lost their relatives, property and most importantly, justice and hope for the future.
Though the return of the Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to their native lands was reflected in all of the documents of the international organizations related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the issue of solving the problem still remains open.
Alongside Armenia’s aggressive policy, the double standards demonstrated by the international community toward the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and ignorance of this problem for many years are some of the blocking stones in the way of resolution.
Now the co-chairs note that no comprehensive solution can be achieved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without resolving the problems of all IDPs and without ensuring their right to return to their homes.
During the visit to Baku, they noted that it is not an easy problem, but asserted that they will continue to work on it and results will be achieved when both sides reach an agreement.
This relatively new approach by the co-chairs gives hope for the settlement of the conflict that is source of suffering and danger.