Minsk Group co-chairs primarily serve their interests, says Azerbaijani deputy FM
Azerbaijan has been living in a state of war for more than 25 years, said Azerbaijan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov.
He made the remarks at a panel session titled “Building Peace: 70 years of UN action – towards a culture of prevention”, which was held as part of the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku May 6, APA reported.
Azimov stressed the need for an international approach to the settlement of the conflict.
“Conflicts are no longer a problem of the two countries, they go beyond the region. It is possible to create conditions for peace after taking the necessary measures to prevent the emergence of similar conditions and using the practice of resolving previous conflicts. However, there are sometimes doubts about the recognition of international law and education in this area in neighboring societies. Each side must respect the principles of international law,” he said.
The deputy FM went on to say that effective international cooperation can play a key role in resolving the ongoing conflicts in the world.
He called on international players to intensify their efforts to resolve conflicts.
“In order to succeed in resolving conflicts, international players need to intensify their efforts,” he noted. “To this end, one needs to work more closely with the regions, rather than conduct an analysis of conflicts while being in New York. We need to establish close contacts with the conflict regions.”
He went on to add that various peacekeeping organizations, including the OSCE Minsk Group and other formats, are not always an effective tool for resolving conflicts.
“For example, the Minsk Group co-chairs – Russia, the US and France – primarily serve their interests. As a result, the conflict remains unresolved,” he stressed.
Azimov called for an immediate implementation of the four UN Security Council resolutions on the conflict.
“The UN resolutions need to be fulfilled. They indicate a concrete way to resolve the conflict. The Minsk Group should act in accordance with these resolutions,” said the deputy minister.
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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