Baku says Cypriot FMâ€™s statement on Karabakh conflict encourages Armeniaâ€™s aggressive policy
- 31 May 2017
Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides’s statement on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict contradicts Cyprus’s obligations to international law and the Helsinki Final Act, encourages the policy of aggression and occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, told APA.
Hajiyev was commenting on Kasoulides’s statement made at a meeting with Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan.
Hajiyev said that the thoughts voiced by Kasoulides also ruin the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ peaceful efforts on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement and sustainable peace in the region.
“These statements are also incompatible with the positions of the EU, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, where Cyprus is a member,” Hajiyev said.
"The Cypriot foreign minister refutes himself by making such contradictory statements,” he said. “While addressing the OSCE Permanent Council as chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe January 26, 2017, the Cypriot foreign minister stated that Cyprus supports the territorial integrity, sovereignty and the political independence of countries.”
He also added that the military cooperation between Cyprus and Armenia raises certain questions and suspicions.
Hajiyev expressed hope that the issue will be considered by the EU and the OSCE.
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 December 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.