Dennis Sammut: Potential war in Karabakh won’t be like before
Everyone is obliged to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Dennis Sammut, Director of LINKS, the London Information Network on Conflicts and State-building, APA reported.
Sammut is on a visit to Baku to participate in an event, titled "Can confidence-building measures contribute to the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?” which was organized by the Center for Economic and Social Development.
He noted that the conflict should only be resolved by peaceful means.
“What happened in April 2016 showed us conflicts bring about heavy consequences. People need to understand that a potential war in 2017 won’t be like that of 1989. Both sides are equipped with devastating weapons,” said the LINKS director.
He stressed that a peaceful resolution, in the first place, corresponds to the needs of those who have directly suffered from the conflict.
“The refugees and IDPs should [be allowed to] return to their homes. We’re supposed to create conditions for it to be possible. A number of proposals and ideas have been voiced as to how the conflict could be settled. As a civil society, our role is to contribute to the proper conditions being created for these discussions to be successfully held,” he added.
Confidence-building measures are one of the components of a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the LINKS director.
“Confidence-building measures are a must among states or groups within states which have problems with one another. This is not the measure among friends. Such measures were taken in the Cold War period to clarify relations of the U.S. and NATO with the Soviet Union. It does not mean that we are not aware of the war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and of human causalities on the contact line. That’s why we are just speaking about confidence-building measures. This issue is being discussed in order to create condition for discussions and negotiations at the level of presidents and ministers. We all can contribute to the settlement of this conflict through our own path,” he added.
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 December 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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