Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has addressed the 21st OSCE Ministerial Council in Basel, Switzerland.
Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said: “In times when European and global security architecture are at a critical juncture, the OSCE remains a unique instrumental platform enabling the participating States to find a common response to evolving challenges.
For non-bloc countries like Azerbaijan, OSCE is the only multilateral engagement format, where we can promote and defend our interests from leverages of unilateral domination. We feel a considerable discomfort with an increased competition of opposing political-military blocks since this deepens dividing lines and further diminishes the role of OSCE in European security architecture. The OSCE must be used to build a network of trustful and secure relations both between enlarging political/military blocks and non-block OSCE participating States.”
The Azerbaijani FM noted: “The current OSCE agenda is over dominated by an intentional increasing focus on the issues of human rights and fundamental freedoms. With full support to the issues of democracy building, regretfully, sometimes we see a lack of comprehensive and integral approach, double standards, breaches of mandates by some OSCE institutions and attempts to jeopardize stability and development of OSCE participating States under the pretext of human rights concerns. We urge relevant OSCE institutions to undertake serious efforts to restore the trust and to implement their respective mandates without double standards, geographical and other preferences.”
“The protracted conflicts in the OSCE area are still, unfortunately, main threats to peace and security on the European continent. Strengthening the OSCE mediation capacity shall be accompanied by a firm resistance to selective interpretation of the founding principles of the Helsinki Final Act and against the attempts to consolidate results of violations of internationally recognized borders of OSCE participating States.
The ongoing occupation by Armenia the territories of Azerbaijan continues to pose a serious threat to international and regional peace and security and blatantly disregard with the international law and relevant four UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 1993.
Unfortunately, after recent Armenia and Azerbaijan Presidential meetings in Sochi, Wales and last round of talks in Paris the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia held provocative large-scale military exercises at the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan. At all three meetings there were some positive indications that the progress at peace negotiations could be achieved. Such a provocative demonstration of force by Armenia absolutely do not correspond to the spirit of these talks, the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair countries’ leaders and undermine confidence building to reach political solution for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied lands of Azerbaijan. The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs had already expressed their concern about this large-scale Armenian military exercise in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, which included huge number of military personal and equipment. That kind of military exercises of Armenia must be assessed as attempts not only to hinder the mediators’ efforts to reach progress on the peace talks, but also to continue consolidate the occupation of the territories,” Elmar Mammadyarov said.
“Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated, and I would like to reiterate it once again that presence of Armenia’s armed forces on the occupied territories is major destabilizing factor with the potential for escalation at any time with unpredictable consequences.
The Government of Armenia must realize that reliance on the status-quo achieved as a result of military aggression by the use of force is a grave miscalculation. Occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan and ethnic cleansing of local population from homes of their origin does not represent a solution and will never produce a political outcome desired by Armenia. Withdrawal of Armenia’s troops can be a significant confidence building measure and will completely change the dynamic of peace process and open up immense opportunities for comprehensive and sustainable development of the South Caucasus region.”
The FM added: “At the end, I would like to stress once again readiness of Azerbaijan to start the work on drafting of the peace agreement that was supported and urged by President Hollande at Paris summit as well as by Minsk Group Co-chairs. All of us must encourage Armenia seriously consider such important initiative.”