news banner image Desktop news banner image Mobile
Press release 22 March 2019

No:088/19,Commentary of the Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Azerbaijan

The statement of the Prime Minister of Armenia that “the proposal to return Nagorno-Karabakh to the negotiating table is not a proposal to change the format, but to restore the negotiation format” needs to be clarified, since there are no documents and decisions that could support its validity.

In this regard, we would like to reiterate the last statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which unequivocally supported the unchangeability of the format of the negotiation process. Similar statements were also made by high-ranking officials of the European Union. This position of the international community serves as a serious message for Armenia, and also indicates support for the well-founded position of Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, in order to clarify the realities of the negotiation process, we consider it necessary to pay attention to the following issues.

First, UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 884 and 884 unequivocally confirm the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the international borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and demand the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from the territories of Azerbaijan. These resolutions constitute the legal basis of the conflict settlement.

Second, the results of the Additional Meeting of the CSCE Council held in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. As it is known, in this document the OSCE Chairman-in-Office is instructed to convene a peace conference in Minsk on the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and in this regard the document states: “Elected and other representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh will be invited to the Conference as interested parties by the Chairman of the Conference after consultation with the States participating at the Conference”. Elected and other representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh mentioned here are the both, Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and in the document they are indicated as the interested parties. We would like to remind that in the last statement of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs, both communities are referred to as the interested parties as well. With regard to the issue of inviting the interested parties to the Minsk conference, the participation of the both communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country at the peace conference to be convened after the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, in the capacity of “interested parties” might be considered after the relevant agreement is reached.

Third, we quote precisely the 1994 OSCE Budapest decision: “Expressing regret for the continuation of the conflict and its tragic consequences for people, the participating States welcomed the confirmation by the parties to the conflict of the cease-fire agreement reached on 12 May 1994 thanks to the mediation efforts of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the CSCE Minsk Group. They reaffirmed their commitment to the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and welcomed the political support provided by the Security Council to the efforts of the CSCE aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict”. The ceasefire agreement reached on May 12, 1994, referred to in the Summit decision, was confirmed by Azerbaijan and Armenia as parties to the conflict, in accordance with the above decision of the CSCE Council of Ministers in Helsinki on March 24, 1992, as well as by the leaders of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan as "interested parties" in resolving the conflict. Thus, in this decision there is absolutely no reference to Nagorno-Karabakh as a separate party. Moreover, support is expressed for the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. In this regard, we would also like to remind that under the cease-fire agreement, a timetable was developed for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which serves as annex to this agreement. According to this timetable, the withdrawal of the occupying forces of Armenia from the territories of Azerbaijan had to be ensured.

We remind that, yet in 1992, taking into consideration some of Armenia's groundless claims seriously hindering the peace process, a statement in respect of the equality of the Azerbaijanis and Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh was made by the President of the Minsk Group: “the Italian Chairman could not find any consensus among the other countries of the Minsk Group for the Armenian thesis according to which the 24 March mandate would enable him to give the Armenian party of Nagorno Karabakh a formal priority over the Azeri party, or even call the former ‘elected representatives’” (CSCE Communication No. 279, Prague, 15 September 1992). As is seen, this issue has been clarified yet in 1992, at initial stage of establishment of the Minsk Group and the equality of both communities of Nagorno-Karabakh was stated.

Finally, the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the case of "Chiragov and Others against Armenia" proved, by putting an end to Armenia’s persistent denial of its responsibility, that the separatist regime created in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan survives by virtue of military, political, financial and other support of Armenia, which exercises effective control over these territories.

The time spent in seeking such unfounded allegations undermining the efforts of advancing the negotiations on resolution of the conflict harms success of the peace process and sustainable development of the region. It is the right time now for the Armenian leadership to demonstrate what they prefer to spend their time on.

Share this page

All rights reserved. Contact us to use any licensed material.
Privacy Policy