Azerbaijan And Armenia Must Stick to Peace Plan

PACE RAPPORTEUR REMINDS AZERI PARLIAMENT OF COMMITMENTS TO EUROPEAN UNION

BAKU (PACE–525Gazet)–Terry Davis–rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict–who is currently paying an official visit to Azerbaijan–today held a press conference in the Milli Mejlis (Azerbaijan’s National Assembly) on the results of his visit.

Davis met with Azeri president Heidar Aliev on April 15–and other officials the previous day–including defense minister Safar Abiev.

The defense ministry press service reported that the minister briefed Davis on the situation at the line of contact between Azeri and Armenian troops of Nagorno Karabagh–noting that Azerbaijan was not going to cede a single meter of its territory to Armenia. He called on the Council of Europe to recognize Armenia as an aggressor and take appropriate measures in this regard.

"Under the circumstances of continued occupation nobody can guarantee that the military action will not resume. Armenian armed forces should urgently be withdrawn from the occupied territories. Only in this case can one talk about the firm establishment of stability and security in the region," Abiev said.

In turn–Davis noted that he was aware of the losses sustained by both sides as a result of frequent violations of the cease-fire regime. "Everyone knows that there is a cease-fire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan–and both states undertook to resolve the problem peacefully when they joined the Council of Europe," said Davis

Davis said the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh problem was a difficult process–but expressed hope that his report would expedite the settlement process.

Speaking in the Milli Mejlis–he said the report would not be submitted to PACE before the end of this year and submission terms were currently under consideration. The rapporteur stressed his awareness of the report’s importance for the population of Nagorno Karabakh and seven neighboring districts. "The document will reflect everything that has been done and has still to be done for a settlement of the conflict. My objective is not to replace co-chairs–but my report will contain a reference to the OSCE Minsk Group and give an evaluation of their work"–stressed the rapporteur. He considered that a further postponement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict solution would have a negative impact on the economic development and the assurance of human rights in the region. He criticized the international community for overlooking the conflict until now.

"Azerbaijan and Armenia are members of the Council of Europe. But the European and world communities did not pay enough attention to the problem," noted Davis. He reinforced his devotion to a peaceful settlement of the conflict. According to Davis–Azerbaijan and Armenia had undertaken to settle this conflict in a peaceful way and these obligations had to be fulfilled. The rapporteur pointed out that he would travel to Armenia from Azerbaijan through Tbilisi and that he would not visit Nagorno Karabakh this time. "But if I do visit Nagorno Karabakh in the future–this must be interpreted as fact-finding trip exclusively"–concluded Davis. He said his next visit would take place in several months’ time.

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