It is hard to include the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict among the “frozen” conflicts, said Jonathan Lacôte, French Ambassador to Armenia, at a press conference on Tuesday, APA reported citing news.am.
“I’m surprised by the degree in which the conflict is reflected among the society,” the ambassador also said, and added that 57 soldiers have died at the line of contact since the beginning of 2017.
The French diplomat noted that the Karabakh conflict is a functioning conflict that impacts people and economy.
“And that worries us,” he added.
In Ambassador Lacôte’s words, France is determined to carry out its duties as a co-chair country in the OSCE Minsk Group. At the same time, however, the diplomat stressed that this conflict has no military solution.
“France follows the conflict at the highest level,” he added. “France is fully loyal to its co-chair’s commitments within the Minsk Group. But solely the parties [to this conflict] can achieve the settlement of the conflict.”
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.