EU envoy expresses concern over situation in South Caucasus

EU envoy expresses concern over situation in South Caucasus
# 20 June 2017 16:37 (UTC +04:00)

The EU is concerned with the situation in the South Caucasus and attaches great importance to this region, the head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Piotr Switalski, said on Tuesday, APA reported citing

“The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are doing a good job in difficult environment full of challenges. We support the Minsk Group co-chairmanship. Our main role is to provide support to the mediation of the Minsk Group,” the EU envoy said.

He said the constant cases of ceasefire violation are worrying, and the peace is very fragile.

Switalski added that EU special representative on the South Caucasus Herbert Salber will be coming to Armenia in beginning of July, and his visit “is a demonstration that we care very much about what is happening”.

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.

Nagorno Garabagh