OSCE Minsk Group pre­par­ing Pres­i­dents’ meet­ing on Karabakh set­tle­ment

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 fin­ished their visit to the South Cau­ca­sus re­gion last week­end. The visit was mainly aimed at pre­par­ing the up­com­ing high-level meet­ing on the set­tle­ment of the Ar­me­nian-Azer­bai­jani con­flict.

On Oc­to­ber 6, the co-chairs Stephane Vis­conti of France, Igor Popov of Rus­sia, An­drew Schofer of the U.S., as well as Per­sonal Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the OSCE Chair­per­son-in-Of­fice An­drzej Kasprzyk, met with Ar­me­nian Pres­i­dent in Yere­van, and on the next day, the Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev re­ceived the diplo­mats in Baku.

At the meet­ing in Baku, the par­ties dis­cussed the cur­rent state and prospects of ne­go­ti­a­tions on the set­tle­ment of the NagornoKarabakh con­flict and talked about the up­com­ing high-level meet­ing.

For more than two decades, Ar­me­nia and Azer­bai­jan are in a state of war fol­low­ing Yere­van’s ag­gres­sion, eth­nic cleans­ing pol­icy and il­le­gal ter­ri­to­rial claims against Azer­bai­jan in early 1990s.

More than 20,000 Azer­bai­ja­nis were killed and over 1 mil­lion were dis­placed as a re­sult of the largescale hos­til­i­ties.

To­day, Ar­me­nia keeps un­der con­trol over 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan's in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ter­ri­tory, in­clud­ing NagornoKarabakh and seven ad­ja­cent re­gions. To this day, Ar­me­nia has not im­ple­mented four UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on with­drawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and sur­round­ing re­gions.

After meet­ing with Minsk Group co-chairs, Pres­i­dent Aliyev re­ceived the new U.S. co-chair of the MG, An­drew Schofer. The head of state wished the co-chair suc­cess in his ac­tiv­i­ties, say­ing the pre­vi­ous U.S. co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to­gether with other co-chairs spared no ef­forts to­wards the set­tle­ment of the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict.

The Pres­i­dent fur­ther ex­pressed his re­gret that the con­flict has not yet been set­tled, say­ing the rea­son be­hind this is that Ar­me­nia is try­ing to keep the cur­rent sta­tus quo un­changed and does not with­draw its troops from the oc­cu­pied lands, ig­nor­ing the rel­e­vant UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions.

Not­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions have cur­rently been re­sumed, Pres­i­dent Aliyev said that con­struc­tive ef­forts were made to find a fair so­lu­tion to the con­flict based on the norms of in­ter­na­tional law. He un­der­lined Azer­bai­jan’s in­ter­est in the soon­est set­tle­ment of the con­flict.

Schofer, in turn, also pointed out the sta­tus quo is un­ac­cept­able, adding that the OSCE Minsk Group will spare no ef­forts to con­trib­ute to the peace­ful set­tle­ment of the con­flict based on the in­ter­na­tional law.

Soon after the meet­ing with Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs is­sued a state­ment sum­ming up their visit to the South Cau­ca­sus re­gion.

The state­ment says that Pres­i­dents of Azer­bai­jan Il­ham Aliyev and of Ar­me­nia Serzh Sargsyan con­firmed their readi­ness to reen­gage in ne­go­ti­a­tions for reach­ing a peace­ful set­tle­ment to the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict.

In­for­ma­tion on the forth­com­ing sum­mit will be re­leased in the near fu­ture, the mes­sage says.

The meet­ing of the Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian Pres­i­dents is long over­due in or­der to achieve break­through in the process of set­tle­ment of the long-stand­ing Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict.

Azer­bai­jan has long ago stated it is ready to set­tle the con­flict through direct ne­go­ti­a­tions with Ar­me­nia with me­di­a­tion of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. How­ever, the Ar­me­nian side is con­stantly try­ing to make up rea­sons to avoid a con­struc­tive di­a­logue and pre­serve the un­ac­cept­able sta­tus quo in Nagorno-Karabakh. Due to this po­si­tion of the oc­cu­pier coun­try, the process of the res­o­lu­tion of the con­flict lasts for many years, and no tan­gi­ble re­sults have been achieved so far.

Hope­fully, the com­ing meet­ing be­tween the heads of state will make a con­sid­er­able con­tri­bu­tion to the set­tle­ment process, and the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict will be re­solved in the fore­see­able fu­ture, with re­spect for sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of Azer­bai­jan.

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