"We must continue to find a peaceful solution"

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Efforts should be continued towards the liberation of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region and other territories of Azerbaijan, PACE Monitoring Committee’s co-rapporteur for Azerbaijan, Stefan Schennach, told local media.

“We must continue making efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict,” the co-rapporteur said, calling the restoration of the ceasefire between the two countries a very positive step.

“My visit to Azerbaijan took place while the escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh was ongoing. I’m deeply concerned by the emergence of this situation, which I regret,” he noted. “And I have to say that I was shocked by young Azerbaijani boys and girls taking to the streets of Baku, rejecting the ceasefire and calling for war. There is no future for war and for this matter there is no military solution.”

The co-rapporteur also spoke of the Subcommittee on conflicts between the countries of the Council of Europe.

Schennach recalled that the meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh took place in PACE on April 21.

“Besides, we invited the co-rappouerters for both countries for the first time. Two representatives from conflicting countries, including Turkey and Cyprus, attended the meeting. We mulled the prospects of settlement of these conflicts. We didn’t touch upon the activity of international mediatory bodies such as the Geneva Group and the Minsk Group. We only discussed what the Council of Europe can do for the settlement of the conflicts. The OSCE Minsk Group is specialized in the conflict’s settlement. The Subcommittee is working with the conflicting parties within the Council of Europe. Sometimes I observe hate speech and statements. The format of dialogue between the two countries makes us a little closer to resolving the conflict. The Council of Europe is not a scene for performances of the members. We wish to work together,” he said.

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 OSCE 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, 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.

2016.04.23 / 11:00
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