OSCE Office in Yerevan Closed due to Position of Baku

Baku / 05.05.17 / Turan: Despite the efforts made, the OSCE Permanent Council could not reach a consensus on the extension of the OSCE office in Yerevan, the only one in the South Caucasus.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry stated that because of Baku's position, the mandate of the OSCE Yerevan office was not extended, but Azerbaijan opposed it.

In its turn, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, on behalf of Baku's permanent representative to the OSCE Galib Israfilov, states that the actions of the OSCE Office in Yerevan do not correspond to geographical borders.

In particular, this concerns the issues of mine clearance in the zone of the Karabakh conflict. However, Armenia was not a theater of military operations.

Baku is concerned that the demining project will "strengthen the potential and skills of Armenian bodies that can be used against Azerbaijan in the occupied territories," he said.

Baku suggested eliminating the ambiguity of the mandate of the OSCE Yerevan Office and after several rounds of consultations, the Azerbaijani side in principle supported the explanation of the mandate proposed by the Austrian Chairmanship in the draft decision.

If these conditions were accepted, it would confirm that the activities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan are limited exclusively to the territory of the Republic of Armenia and in no way can include any issues related to the conflict being considered by the Minsk Conference and the process of its settlement.

However, the delegation of Armenia refused to support the compromise proposal, the representative of Baku said. -02D-

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