Armenia-Azerbaijan Peace Platform expresses concern over mounting escalation at contact line
The Platform for Peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is concerned over the mounting escalation at the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops and deeply saddened by the news of human losses reported on February 24-25, the Platform said in a statement on February 26.
The Platform is deeply saddened by the facts that it’s the ordinary people that have been suffering from the 25-year-old conflict more than anyone else, the refugees and IDPs are unable to return to their homelands, military casualties suffered by both sides, and their families are destined to live with these losses.
“What’s happening proves the necessity of finding an immediate solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” read the statement.
The Platform believes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved only by peaceful means and through dialogue between the two nations, calling on sides to cease hostilities and settle the conflict in line with international law as soon as possible.
The Platform also calls on the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to continue the negotiation process and achieve an early resolution of the conflict.
For the purposes of contributing to a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Platform for Peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan was established on December 6, 2016. The Platform is an initiative of the citizens of Azerbaijan and Armenia who wish to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
The initiative on the creation of the Platform has generated the interest of the international community as well as attracted the high level of public attention in both conflicting states. A large number of well-known experts highly appreciated this initiative and stressed the very special role of the above-mentioned peacekeeping initiative in the process of the peaceful settlement of the conflict.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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