French senator makes statement on Armenian army's killing of Azerbaijani civilians
- 06 July 2017
In his response to an enquiry by the French office of The European Azerbaijan Society regarding the killing of Sahiba Guliyeva and her two-year-old granddaughter Zahra Guliyeva due to Armenian shelling of the civilian population of the Alkhanly village in the Fuzuli district, Senator André Reichardt, Chairman of the France-Caucasus Friendship Group in the French Senate made a statement.
"I deeply saddened by the death of innocent civilians who have nothing to do with this conflict, and especially with the death of this child, which makes me particularly sad. I offer my deepest condolences to the families and to the authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
This dramatic event illustrates the extent to which the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not frozen. In addition to the frequent military casualties, we have witnessed an increase in military clashes in recent weeks, and today there are unacceptable civilian casualties, just over a year after the so-called Four-Day War in April 2016. This absolutely demonstrates that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved in a peaceful and equitable manner without delay. I said this recently at a conference organised by TEAS in Paris on the subject of refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan: it is imperative that President Emmanuel Macron exercises leverage over the matter and that France takes the initiative to accelerate the peaceful resolution of the conflict, in collaboration with Russia and the United States, the other Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.
The withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territory is a prerequisite for any peaceful resolution of the conflict. The status quo is unacceptable, and my biggest fear is that the Azerbaijani army will react to the events of yesterday and we will witness a new escalation.
I await a statement from the Armenian side justifying the strikes in the Fizuli region, which provoked this tragedy.”
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 1994.
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.