Armenia accused Azerbaijan on Monday of trying to walk away from confidence-building agreements that were reached by the presidents of the two states following last month’s heavy fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Azerbaijan is again trying to take a step backwards,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
“That once again confirms the fact that the international community and Baku speak different languages,” he claimed. “Baku’s attempts to present false versions through certain officials are fruitless.”
Nalbandian referred to comments made by Azerbaijani officials on the May 16 meeting of Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sarkisian that was co-hosted in Vienna by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and France’s State Secretary for European Affairs Harlem Desir.
A joint statement by Kerry, Lavrov and Desir said Aliyev and Sarkisian pledged to strengthen the shaky ceasefire regime in the conflict zone, including through independent investigations of armed incidents that will be conducted by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
“The Presidents also agreed to the expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office,” the statement said. The representative, Andrzej Kasprzyk, has monitored the ceasefire in the Karabakh conflict zone along with a limited number of other OSCE officials for the past two decades.
“There can be no significant changes in the mandate of Andrzej Kasprzyk,” Aliyev’s chief foreign policy aide, Novruz Mammadov, countered on May 18. “What was written [in the statement by Kerry, Lavrov and Desir] is the position of the Minsk Group. We assumed no commitments on that.”
Mammadov reportedly backtracked on his remarks on Sunday, however. The RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying that Baku does not object to the international mediators’ idea of expanding Kasprzyk’s monitoring mission.