Armenian FM says recent developments in region underlined need for strong OSCE MG Co- Chairmanship

Foreign Minister of Armenia Ara Aivazian has made a statement for press following his meeting today with Ann Linde, the Foreign Minister of Sweden and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office in Yerevan.

Armenian FM says recent developments in region underlined need for strong OSCE MG Co- Chairmanship

Armenian FM says recent developments in region underlined need for strong OSCE MG Co- Chairmanship

STEPANAKERT, MARCH 16 , ARTSAKHPRESS: The text of the FM’s statement is presented below:

“Dear colleagues, 

I would like to welcome my counterpart Ann Linde in Armenia within her visit as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Today we had substantive discussions during the tet-a-tete meeting and talks in extended format, touched upon the priorities of the Swedish Chairmanship in the OSCE, a wide range of issues on regional security and stability, as well as the Armenian-Swedish bilateral agenda.

Mrs. Linde, 

Today, you are visiting Armenia in your capacity as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. It’s noteworthy that amid these challenging times for the European security, Sweden, which is well-known for its contribution to international peace, has assumed the leadership of this important organization.

Using this opportunity I would like to congratulate you and wish fruitful work in this responsible mission. Unfortunately, your visit to the region scheduled for last September was postponed because of war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh.

The use of force by Azerbaijan in the context of the conflict was a gross violation of the OSCE commitments, including the Helsinki Final Act.

Throughout the war, the armed forces of Azerbaijan, with the active support of Turkey and in violation of international humanitarian law, committed mass atrocities, including ethnic cleansing and war crimes against the Armenians of Artsakh, deliberately targeting civilian population, including women, children and elderly, as well as civilian infrastructure and cultural heritage sites.

Moreover, even four months after the end of hostilities, Azerbaijan continues to violate international humanitarian law, by holding Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians.
The transfer of thousands of foreign terrorist fighters and mercenaries from the Middle East to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone with direct engagement and coordination of Turkey, and their involvement in hostilities against the Armenians of Artsakh, was not only a violation of international law, but also a violation of the OSCE commitments. It set two dangerous precedents: the attempt to resolve conflict through mass atrocities and use of force, and the mass import of terrorist fighters from other regions into the OSCE area of responsibility, which should be unequivocally condemned.

Dear colleagues, 

With the trilateral statement signed to stop the Turkish-Azerbaijani aggression and with the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh, the conflict entered a new stage of development. We consider the trilateral statement as a document aimed at restoring the ceasefire and reaffirming the security. Although it contains some provisions concerning the peaceful settlement, however it does not address its key elements, and the most important among them is the issue of the status of Artsakh, based on the right of the Armenians of Artsakh to self-determination. A final political solution to the conflict is possible only within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship. 

Recent developments in the region have underlined the need for a strong OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, which will be able to lead the peace process on the basis of principles and elements developed over the years. We also need a strong, cohesive OSCE as an institute responsible for regional security and peace. In this context, we attach importance to the role of the OSCE Chairmanship, including the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office".