OSCE MG asserts it is doing its best to resolve NK conflict

By: Sara Rajabova

The OSCE Minsk Group, which is tasked with mediating peaceful resolution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is under the strong criticism as the problem’s resolution has been lingering over 20 years.

However, the Minsk group co-chairs don’t agree with such criticism of their activity.

Noting that he doesn’t understand the criticism of the OSCE Minks Group’s co-chairs, James Warlick, OSCE Minsk Group’s U.S. co-chair said they are doing everything they can to solve the conflict.

The important thing is the steps taken by the heads of states, but not the statements by the co-chairs, he told media in Baku on October 28.

The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are on visit to Azerbaijan following a trip to Armenia and Azerbaijan’s territories under Armenian occupation.

Furthermore, Warlick stressed that peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is of great importance for the entire region.

He said peace must be achieved for future generations, noting that peace will bring benefit to both peoples.

Warlick went on to add that the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia should establish contacts to get to know each other.

Earlier in the day, he highlighted the importance of securing the rights of all refugees and internally displaced people for the settlement of the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

The bloody war, which flared up in the late 1980s left 700,000 civilians of Nagorno-Karabakh and the regions adjoining it, as well as the regions bordering Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, without homes.

Moreover, 250,000 Azerbaijanis were expelled from Armenia and became refugees due to Armenia’s ethnic cleansing policy after the emergence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by U.S., Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country’s territories.