Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. Contacts between the European Union and the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are very important, Malena Mard, head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, told reporters on Thursday.
Mard said that within his mandate, the special representative supports peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and pays regular visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia. She added that the EU supports the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group.
EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Herbert Salber regularly makes visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia to discuss the conflict’s settlement with the two countries’ officials, said Mard.
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.