OSCE thanks ICRC for aid to return Azerbaijani soldierâ€™s body
- 06 February 2017
Austrian chairmanship of the OSCE has on its official Twitter account expressed gratitude to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for its efforts in returning the Azerbaijani soldier’s body.
The body of Azerbaijani soldier Chingiz Gurbanov was returned from Armenia to Azerbaijan in a transfer facilitated by the ICRC on Feb. 5.
OSCE’s Austrian chairmanship also urged the sides to recall the Astrakhan agreement.
The handover took place on the road between the Armenian town of Ijevan and the Azerbaijani town of Gazakh at the Azerbaijan-Armenia border.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed the Astrakhan agreement on Oct. 27, 2010, which is of humanitarian nature and provides for the return of prisoners of war.
The document was signed as a result of talks between the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, then President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in Astrakhan on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement.
The ICRC has been carrying out humanitarian work in the region due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since 1992.
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.