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The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh will be at the core of the agenda during Italy’s OSCE chairmanship in 2017, Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Friday.
Italy is to chair the OSCE in 2018, following a consensus decision of the OSCE’s 57 participating States on 27 July 2016, said the FM. “This decision fully represents the recognition of our country’s commitment and desire to actively contribute to peace and stability in Europe,” said Gentiloni in Rome, welcoming the decision.
“A solution to the crisis in and around Ukraine and the protracted conflicts in the OSCE area (Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia and Transdniestria); the flows of migrants and refugees; and a strengthened partnership with countries on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, will be at the core of our agenda during our Chairmanship,” added Gentiloni.
Italy will therefore next year work closely with Germany (2016 Chair) and Austria (2017 Chair) in its function as Chair of the Contact Group with the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation.
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 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.
2016.07.29 / 19:11