Baku Deman’s OSCE Support Its ‘Territorial Integrity’

BAKU (Combined Sources)–Azerbaijan expects the OSCE Minsk Group to adopt a position, which supports Baku’s official stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, President Ilham Aliyev’s Public and Political Affairs director told Trend News on Wednesday.

“We demand the OSCE to clarify their position and demonstrate a decisive stance,” Ali Hasanov said. “The OSCE should work toward rehabilitating the violated rights of Azerbaijan within the framework of the UN mandate.”

According to Hasanov, Azerbaijan has become a serious player in world economics, politics, and energy trade. “We should take advantage of our position, in particular, in the resolution of the great problem’s-the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.

On March 14, the United Nations General Assembly passed a controversial resolution referring to Karabakh as an internationally recognized part of Azerbaijan. The Azeri drafted resolution was adopted with 39 votes. The United States, Russia and France, the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group voted against the resolution, citing its one-sided and unconstructive nature. Most Council of Europe countries also abstained from the vote.

Official Baku threatened in early April to review its relations with the OSCE mediating powers after they voted against the resolution.

"The UN resolution is a serious message to Armenia and a warning for the co-chairs," Azeri Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said the weekend after the vote. "We will cooperate with them on the basis of their position in the UN General Assembly."

The Minsk Group, was set up in 1992 and has been trying to broker a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict since 1997. Azerbaijani has repeatedly criticized the three nations for their reluctance to restore its control over Nagorno-Karabakh but has traditionally stopped short of seeking a major change in the format of Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks until now.

President Aliyev on Tuesday told his top diplomats that Azerbaijan must take on a more aggressive foreign policy regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict.

Hasanov’s statemen’s follow a string of hardening threats by Azerbaijan to reignite a war in the Caucasus. The most recent threat came on June 26 during Azerbaijan’s first military parade in 16 years, where Aliyev announced his intentions to build a military industrial complex that would support a second round war with neighboring Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Earlier in June, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan held what officials described as "constructive" talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. International mediators hoped the meeting would kick start the stalled negotiations process.

But the OSCE’s Chairman-in-Office Alexander Stubb last week sounded alarm over the growing impasse in negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, saying that the Strasbourg based organization was concerned with the situation in the South Caucasus.

“Speaking frankly, we failed to reach any progress in the South Caucasus and I am concerned with the situation in the area,” he remarked during the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 17th session in Astana, Kazakhstan.

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