Baku. Ramiz Mikayiloglu – APA. The statement made by the US Secretary of State John Kerry about unreadiness of the leaders to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict surprises and upsets, Novruz Mammadov, deputy head of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, chief of the administration's foreign relations department told reporters Oct. 7.
Such a statement of the secretary of state of a superstate, which involved in the conflict’s settlement, on the eve of the resignation, elections, surprises, said Mammadov.
He noted that this sounds strange, as a message to the world.
“It is Armenia that during the talks on the conflict’s settlement claims that leaders aren’t ready to resolve the conflict,” he said, adding that Nagorno-Karabakh is a historic land of Azerbaijan.
“How can they explain the continuation of the occupation of seven districts adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh for more than 25 years, which has resulted in the fact that 760,000 people became displaced,” said the top official.
“If Armenia wants to liberate these seven districts, doesn’t this need preparation?,” he said. “Thus, the main mission was entrusted to the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, including the US. However, we haven’t seen any progress so far.”
Mammadov noted that Armenia is an occupying country, recalling that the US also voted at the UN Security Council for the adoption of four resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the Azerbaijani territories.
“A number of other international organizations also have adopted resolutions and decisions on the issue,” he said. “Presidents of the three co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group also expressed the need to change the status quo.”
“Taking these all into account, they could have uttered a sentence regarding the return of the seven [occupied] districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. In that case, they would have the right to say the parties are not ready for the settlement of the conflict,” he noted.
Mammadov added that Azerbaijan doesn’t agree with John Kerry’s statement and would like to see any US state structure to clarify this statement.
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.