“In May and June of last year, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries sharply intensified the mediation efforts to resolve the conflict”, the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the OSCE in address to the OSCE Permanent Council outlines the importance of conducting substantive negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
The appeal says that last year the parties agreed to expand the office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and to complete the mechanism for investigating the violations of the ceasefire: “However, during the meeting in St. Petersburg, the completion of the investigation mechanism in connection with the withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories was postponed. At both meetings, the parties agreed to conduct negotiations on a comprehensive settlement of the conflict. On July 20, 2016, Azerbaijan presented a proposal to expand the office if the mandate wouldn’t be changed. Thus, the political will and readiness to implement the agreements at a high level were demonstrated.
Unfortunately, then we encountered unacceptable elements in connection with the deployment of OSCE observers on the contact line of the armed forces. This means change in the style of work of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, which does not correspond to the agreements reached at the level of the Presidents. The deployment of OSCE observers on the contact line before the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied lands can lead to the strengthening of the status quo and the prolongation of the conflict. Azerbaijan can not take this step, which generally contradicts the goals of the Minsk process.
As a result, the issue of expanding the office was not completed. Armenia has started to use this situation to explain its deviation from substantive negotiations. “
The appeal notes that despite the fact that the office was not expanded, the situation on the contact line remained calm for several months: “Armenia’s refusal from substantive negotiations was accompanied by provocations on the contact line of the armed forces. The revanchist statements of the Armenian leadership, military exercises on the line of contact and provocations show that Armenia is not interested in resolving the conflict. “
Let us note that the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office is Polish diplomat Andrzhei Kasprzyk.