Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has commented on the resign of the OSCE Minsk Group (MG) US co-chair James Warlick.
“We wish success to the US Co-Chair James Warlick in his future activity. In general, our expectations from the OSCE MG co-chairs are not individual, but rather institutional,” Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Hikmat Hajiyev told APA on Nov. 21.
“In accordance with the mandate, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are supposed to find a solution to the conflict on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, the UN Security Council resolutions and the Helsinki Final Act,” said Hajiyev.
“Consequently, the status quo, which is considered unacceptable and inconsistent by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs at the level of heads of state, must be changed,” the spokesman said, adding. “And changing the status quo requires withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani territories have not been liberated over the past 20 years, nor have lasting peace and security has been insured in the country.”
The US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, James Warlick tweeted on Nov. 21 that he will step down as Minsk Group co-chair on December 31.
“It has been an honor to serve in the US Department of State for more than 30 years,” Warlick wrote.
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.