TODAY.AZ / Politics

OSCE MG lacks progress in solving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

10 July 2017 [14:04] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Rashid Shirinov

Today, the inaction of the international community in solving the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is obvious more than ever, as the bloody conflict continues to claim lives of innocent civilians.

Baku has repeatedly emphasized that the time has long come to take effective steps to resolve the conflict. However, Armenia continues to avoid peace talks, and the international community, in particular the OSCE Minsk Group, hasn’t yet been able to bring Armenia to the negotiating table.

For more than two decades, Armenia keeps under occupation over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory and refuses to fulfill the UN Security Council resolution on immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the Azerbaijani territory.

Two decades of talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group have failed to produce a breakthrough, and Armenia, seeing that it remains unpunished, continues to violate the ceasefire with Azerbaijan, thus killing Azerbaijani soldiers and civilians from time to time.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly also acknowledged this fact. In its Minsk declaration adopted at the twenty-sixth annual session, the OSCE PA urged the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to redouble their efforts to finding the earliest possible sustainable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The OSCE PA expressed its regret over the lack of progress towards the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Experts also note the inaction of the Minsk Group in resolving the conflict, which emerged following Armenia’s groundless territorial claims.

“The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs do not exert due pressure on Armenia,” Andrey Epifantsev, Russian political analyst and expert on the Caucasus region, told Trend on July 8.

The expert noted that this inaction may be connected to the fact that the three co-chair countries of the Minsk Group – Russia, France and the U.S. – have significant relations with Armenia.

“Russia is a strategic ally of Armenia, and France and the U.S. have a very strong Armenian diaspora that in one way or another affects the foreign policy of the two countries,” Epifantsev noted.

 “Clashes on the line of contact in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone will continue until a certain solution is found,” Epifantsev said, adding the solution to the conflict can only be achieved through compromise.

Another expert, Russian TV presenter Maxim Shevchenko stressed that the international community has never done anything to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“I am afraid that, unfortunately, the conflict will, sometime after, be resolved only on the battlefield,” Shevchenko told Trend.

He noted that now it is necessary to withdraw troops from the contact line and start direct talks between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to break the deadlock in the conflict settlement.

Azerbaijan has always noted its consent to start direct talks with Armenia. However, it seems that the aggressor country, which illegally remains in Azerbaijani territories for more than two decades, will only leave them if Azerbaijan starts their return by military means or if the international community eventually directly demands from Armenia to withdraw from Azerbaijani lands.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.


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