Azerbaijani FM to discuss Armenia’s refusal to return dead body of soldier with OSCE MG co-chairs

Azerbaijani FM to discuss Armenia’s refusal to return dead body of soldier with OSCE MG co-chairs
  • Clock-gray 09:36
  • calendar-gray 31 January 2017

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said on Monday that he will discuss with the OSCE Minsk Group (MG) co-chairs Armenia’s refusal to return the dead body of the Azerbaijani soldier.


“Armenia’s refusal to return the dead body of the Azerbaijani soldier is an inhumane act,” Mammadyarov told a joint press conference with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Baku Jan. 31, APA reported. 


“It’s very wrong. We’ll discuss it with the Minsk Group co-chairs. We had agreed many times that the bodies be returned quickly after battles,” Mammadyarov added.


Mammadyarov will meet with the Minsk Group co-chairs on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to be held on February 17-19.    


A reconnaissance group of the Armenian Armed Forces tried to violate the Azerbaijan-Armenia state border on Dec. 29, 2016. The Armenian group found itself in the ambush of the Azerbaijani army while violating the borders and suffered heavy losses. Chingiz Gurbanov, a serviceman of Azerbaijani Armed Forces, went missing during the fight. It was later found out that Armenia kept the soldier’s body.


The Azerbaijani side has officially appealed to the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Azerbaijan, the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as to Andrzej Kasprzyk, personal representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office.


The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.


A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.


The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.


Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.


Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.  


Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.


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