Lavrov: No consensus in OSCE on investigation of incidents in Karabakh - UPDATED
Asked about Moscow’s possible reaction in case Azerbaijan begins to conduct a counter-terrorist operation in its territories occupied by Armenia and to clear Nagorno-Karabakh of occupying forces and other criminal elements, Lavrov replied: “It is not something abstract and is not only the subject of internal affairs of Azerbaijan. Demands to liberate the occupied territories – using peaceful means and subsequently determining Nagorno-Karabakh’s status – have always been on the negotiation table.”
The Russian FM noted that there are a number of documents regarding the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The minister also touched on the clashes that took place on the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops in April 2016.
He noted that Russia played a decisive role in ending the bloodshed in April 2016.
Lavrov recalled that at the meetings in Vienna and St. Petersburg, the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents reached an agreement on creating a mechanism for investigating the incidents on the contact line and increasing the number of OSCE observers on the contact line of troops.
The Russian FM noted that there is no consensus in OSCE on investigation of the incidents on the contact line of the troops.
“There is no consensus in OSCE on investigation of the incidents on the contact line of troops and increasing the number of OSCE observers. One can ask it from the organization’s members,” Lavrov 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, including 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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