Lukashenko: Armenia, Azerbaijan should resolve Karabakh conflict without mediators
- 28 March 2017
Armenia and Azerbaijan should sit at the negotiations table and resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without any strong or weak mediators, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Armenian Ambassador Armen Khachatryan, APA reported citing BelTA agency.
Lukashenko noted that there are conflicting parties who must handle this issue.
“I will openly say that it is not our issue, not my issue. We have nothing to do there. There are conflicting parties who must handle this issue,” said the president.
Lukashenko continued: “When the president of Armenia or the people of Armenia, the president of Azerbaijan or the people of Azerbaijan ask me about it, I tell them that I have only one position: people should have a decent life. Then I say I don't believe that people have a decent life in Nagorno-Karabakh today. Is this a decent life when you feel that you can be wounded or killed every day? Therefore, we have a univocal position: Armenia and Azerbaijan should sit at the negotiations table and solve this problem without any strong or weak mediators. If they want to use someone as a guarantor, they must make this decision together. It is the right time to solve this issue today.”
According to the Belarus leader, people are the priority. “It is inadmissible to play this card in politics when people are dying and suffering,” he added.
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.