Azer­bai­jan urges Ar­me­nia to par­take in peace talks with po­lit­i­cal will

Azer News - - Front Page - By Rashid Shiri­nov

The OSCE Minsk Group cochairs, tasked in me­di­a­tion of the peace talks over the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict, have fi­nal­ized their visit next to the con­flict re­gion to get ac­quainted with the real sit­u­a­tion on the ground and draft fur­ther ac­tions for res­o­lu­tion of the prob­lem

Dur­ing the visit, Am­bas­sadors Igor Popov of Rus­sia, Richard Hoagland of the U.S. and Stephane Vis­conti of France, to­gether with Per­sonal Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the OSCE Chair­per­son-in-Of­fice, Am­bas­sador An­drzej Kasprzyk, trav­eled to Yere­van, Ar­me­nia-oc­cu­pied Nagorno-Karabakh and then to Baku.

President Il­ham Aliyev re­ceived the Minsk Group co-chairs on June 19. President noted that Ar­me­nia com­mit­ted an­other mil­i­tary provo­ca­tion against Azer­bai­jan on the line of con­tact on the eve of the cochairs’ visit to Baku, and killed one Azer­bai­jani sol­dier.

Ar­me­nian armed forces have in­ten­si­fied their at­tacks on the Azer­bai­jani po­si­tions over the past few days, thus killing the Azer­bai­jani sol­dier on June 15. The Azer­bai­jani side re­tal­i­ated the provo­ca­tions and six sol­diers of the Ar­me­nian armed forces were elim­i­nated on the line of con­tact, Azer­bai­jan’s De­fense Min­istry re­ported on June 17.

“As usual the Azer­bai­jani army gave an ad­e­quate re­tal­i­a­tion, and you are aware of the re­sults,” said the head of state. “This has not come as a sur­prise to me be­cause as al­ways be­fore some im­por­tant event or your visit, Ar­me­nia com­mits such provo­ca­tions.”

The fact that the Ar­me­nian militaries in­ten­si­fied front­line provo­ca­tions ahead of the co-chair’s visit to Baku is the clear ev­i­dence that Ar­me­nia tries to un­der­mine the set­tle­ment of the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict through sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions and main­tain the sta­tus quo in the oc­cu­pied Azer­bai­jani lands.

President said Azer­bai­jan is com­mit­ted to the cease­fire regime, not­ing that the Ar­me­nian side in­cites the Azer­bai­jani side so that later to ac­cuse Azer­bai­jan of vi­o­lat­ing the cease­fire.

President Il­ham Aliyev said the sit­u­a­tion on the line of con­tact has been rel­a­tively calm re­cently, adding that this is an im­por­tant fac­tor to speed up the ne­go­ti­a­tions. “How­ever, the de­vel­op­ments have clearly showed that Ar­me­nia tries to disrupt the Minsk Group co-chairs' ac­tiv­i­ties at all costs,” he added.

OSCE Minsk Group’s Rus­sian cochair Igor Popov, in turn, noted that this se­ri­ous cease­fire vi­o­la­tion dur­ing the visit of the co-chairs to Azer­bai­jan causes deep dis­ap­point­ment.

Later in the day, the Minsk Group met with Azer­bai­jan’s De­fense Min­is­ter, Colonel-Gen­eral Zakir Hasanov. The sides dis­cussed the op­er­a­tional sit­u­a­tion on the con­tact line be­tween the Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian troops.

The Ar­me­nian armed units daily breach the cease­fire regime by fir­ing Azer­bai­jani po­si­tions, even set­tle­ments near the front­line. More­over, Ar­me­nian units reg­u­larly try to carry out acts of sab­o­tage on the con­tact line be­tween the troops and by this ag­gra­vate the sit­u­a­tion. The Ar­me­nian militaries use large­cal­iber ma­chine guns, mor­tars and grenade launch­ers while breach­ing the cease­fire.

The Minsk Group co-chairs also met with Azer­bai­jan’s For­eign Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov in Baku. The min­is­ter noted at the meet­ing that Ar­me­nia’s re­cent provo­ca­tions on the line of con­tact be­tween Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian troops are de­lib­er­ate and aim at es­ca­lat­ing the sit­u­a­tion and dis­rupt­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The sides em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of in­ten­si­fy­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tion process, as well as im­por­tance of chang­ing the cur­rent sta­tus-quo, which is un­sus­tain­able and un­ac­cept­able, through sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Mam­mad­yarov also noted that the withdrawal of the Ar­me­nian armed forces from the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries of Azer­bai­jan is cru­cial for achiev­ing progress in the set­tle­ment of the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict.

OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also met with the Azer­bai­jani com­mu­nity of Nagorno-Karabakh in Baku.

Upon com­ple­tion of their visit to Azer­bai­jani cap­i­tal, OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs is­sued a state­ment on the re­sults of the visit to the re­gion.

The state­ment noted that the main purpose of the co-chairs’ visit was to dis­cuss the po­si­tion of the Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian sides to­wards the next steps in the NagornoKarabakh peace process and the over­all sit­u­a­tion in the con­flict zone.

“In their talks in Baku, the cochairs ex­pressed deep con­cern over the re­cent vi­o­la­tions of the cease­fire, re­sult­ing in ca­su­al­ties on the line of con­tact on the eve of their visit to Azer­bai­jan,” reads the state­ment.

They encouraged the sides of the Ar­me­nia-Azer­bai­jan NagornoKarabakh con­flict to con­sider mea­sures that would re­duce ten­sions on the line of con­tact and the in­ter­na­tional bor­der be­tween Ar­me­nia and Azer­bai­jan.

The co-chairs also called upon the par­ties to re-en­gage in sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions on the set­tle­ment of the con­flict. “This is the only way to bring a last­ing peace to the peo­ple of the re­gion, who ex­pect and de­serve progress in the set­tle­ment of the con­flict,” reads the state­ment.

It was also noted that the cochairs will travel to Vi­enna to brief the mem­bers of the Minsk Group on July 3. They also plan to meet again soon with the Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian for­eign min­is­ters to dis­cuss modal­i­ties of the forth­com­ing work.

For­eign Min­is­ter Mam­mad­yarov, com­ment­ing on the re­sults of the cochairs' visit to Baku, told Trend that Azer­bai­jan sup­ports the call of the Minsk Group co-chairs to con­tinue sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions based on good in­ten­tions and po­lit­i­cal will. "The Azer­bai­jani side has re­peat­edly stated that it is ready for sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions on the set­tle­ment of the con­flict," the min­is­ter noted.

Mam­mad­yarov added that the time has come to take se­ri­ous steps to re­solve the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict.

"The sta­tus quo based on the oc­cu­pa­tion must be changed," min­is­ter said, adding that Ar­me­nia must put an end to lies and var­i­ous stip­u­la­tions, and take part in the ne­go­ti­a­tions with good in­ten­tions and po­lit­i­cal will.

Mean­while, the fact that there are no break­through re­sults so far in the res­o­lu­tion of the NagornoKarabakh con­flict is up­set­ting the Azer­bai­jani side. State of­fi­cials pe­ri­od­i­cally make state­ments aimed at in­creas­ing the in­volve­ment of the Minsk Group in the set­tle­ment of the prob­lem.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of Azer­bai­jan Ali Ah­madov has re­cently noted that the Minsk Group should not con­sider its mis­sion com­plete by only vis­it­ing the re­gion. “The Minsk Group mem­bers have long been op­er­at­ing, but no nec­es­sary steps have been taken for fair so­lu­tion of the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict,” he said.

The main call of the Minsk Group should be such that this prob­lem would be fi­nally solved, said Ah­madov, stress­ing that the de­lay of the con­flict res­o­lu­tion means con­tin­u­a­tion of in­jus­tice against peo­ple.

To­day, the Ar­me­nian side keeps at­tack­ing the Azer­bai­jani troops on the front­line ev­ery day. It means that Ar­me­nia, ag­gres­sor coun­try that oc­cu­pied 20 per­cent of in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ter­ri­tory of Azer­bai­jan, keeps ig­nor­ing the vis­its of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the re­gion and their calls. Baku has re­peat­edly ex­pressed its con­sent to come to the ne­go­ti­at­ing table with Ar­me­nia to solve the con­flict by peace­ful means, but Ar­me­nia con­tin­ues to play for time and avoids sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions in or­der to pre­serve the in­ad­mis­si­ble sta­tus quo in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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