Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on ICG Report

Baku / 22.12.19 / Turan: Azerbaijan welcomes the International Crisis Group (ICG) for keeping on the agenda important issues related to the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This was stated by the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva, commenting on the next ICG report on the Karabakh conflict, released this week.

However, she noted that «the ICG’s latest report does not address any new issues; the document only pays attention to important topics that Azerbaijan has already raised for many years.»

«The question of the illegal settlement policy of Armenia in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas has been repeatedly raised by us at the international level, including during meetings with the Armenian side, mediated by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The illegal settlement policy pursued by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in violation of its own international obligations, including the provisions of the Geneva Convention of 1949, is also reflected in the reports of OSCE fact-finding missions in the occupied territories of our country. So, both the OSCE fact-finding mission in 2005 and the 2010 field assessment mission confirmed the implementation of the policy of illegal settlements in our occupied territories. The latest ICG report also notes the continuation of this illegal activity in our occupied territories. I would also like to note that the legal evidence of the implementation of the settlement policy in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in 2015 in the case of Chiragov and Others v. Armenia. This decision, which was made in favor of Azerbaijani citizens expelled from the Lachin region of our country, also reflected the problem of the ongoing illegal settlement to these territories. Of course, after taking steps to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, this problem will also find its solution. But until then, Azerbaijan will consistently raise these issues in the framework of relevant international formats.

“Regarding the deployment of the international peacekeeping mission in the occupied territories and the role of the OSCE High Level Planning Group (HLPG) in this process, we would like to emphasize that the security of the people who should live in the now occupied territories, including the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities, is very important for us. For this reason, we advocate for the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group with the participation of relevant international experts of the risk assessment mission,” Abdullayeva further noted.

As regards the status issue covered in the report, it should be recalled that in general this status has already been defined in the framework of the national legislation of Azerbaijan and international law, including UN Security Council resolutions based on the fundamental norms and principles reflected in the UN Charter and Helsinki Final Act. And the position we have always expressed on this issue remains unchanged. After the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from our occupied lands and the return of the Azerbaijani population expelled from there to their own centers, at the next stages of the settlement process, the specifics of filling the status of the region can be considered with the participation of both of its communities,” continued Abdullayeva.

In conclusion, she emphasized that these problems should be regulated within the framework of the conflict resolution process in accordance with relevant OSCE decisions, as well as without time limits until they are implemented by UN Security Council resolutions. “The reports of international organizations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should take into account the need to implement these decisions and resolutions, which constitute the legal basis for resolving the conflict, primarily UN Security Council resolutions. And their implementation is only a matter of time,” Abdullayeva summed up.

It should be noted that the ICG report also indicated that in 2015 Russia proposed a plan for resolving the conflict, according to which it was supposed to free the areas around Nagorno-Karabakh and deploy Russian peacekeepers with an undefined temporary status for the region.

Azerbaijan was inclined to accept these proposals, called the Lavrov Plan, and Armenia rejected them. Currently, according to ICG experts, this plan is not being discussed. –06D-


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