Armenia has accused Muslim countries making up the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) of “completely distorting the essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” in response to the latest pro-Azerbaijani resolution adopted by them.
In a joint communique released after their summit in Istanbul last week, OIC member states branded Armenia an “aggressor” and called for more “coercive” measures that would help Azerbaijan restore control over Karabakh. They also blamed Yerevan for the April 2 outbreak of heavy fighting along the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” around the disputed territory.
“Wordings included in the document at the behest of Azerbaijan and Turkey completely distort the essence of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian said in written comments over the weekend.
“The real aggressor, Azerbaijan, is portrayed as a victim, something which it will consider an endorsement of a new wave of aggression and its efforts to give the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict religious overtones,” he said.
Kocharian claimed that the OIC also endorsed Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s “provocative approaches” running counter to international efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict, which are spearheaded by the United States, Russia and France.
Both Baku and Ankara have repeatedly accused the U.S., Russian and French mediators co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group of pro-Armenian bias. Yerevan has fiercely resisted the two Turkic allies’ apparent efforts to expand or change otherwise the format of Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks.
The OIC summit also approved a Turkish proposal to set up a “contact group” that will strive for a resolution of the Karabakh conflict sought Azerbaijan. The Armenian side is certain to strongly oppose its involvement in the Karabakh peace process.