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Yerevan Eyes OSCE Role In Final Karabakh Settlement


Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazian and Sweden’s visiting Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde during their joint news conference in Yerevan on March 16, 2021

Armenia sees a final political solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict solely within the framework of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazian said on Tuesday.

At a joint news conference with Sweden’s visiting Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde in Yerevan, Ayvazian said that Armenia views the trilateral statement signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 9 to end six weeks of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh last fall 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 [the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh], 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,” Ayvazian said, referring to the format jointly headed by Russia, the United States and France that has had an international mandate to broker a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since the early 1990s.

“Recent developments in the region have underlined the need for a strong, I emphasize, 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,” the top Armenian diplomat underscored.

In her remarks at the news conference Linde also hailed the work of the Minsk Group co-chairs and the efforts of her personal representative towards finding a lasting solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian meeting with Sweden’s Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde, Yerevan, March 16, 2021
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian meeting with Sweden’s Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ann Linde, Yerevan, March 16, 2021

The OSCE chairperson-in-office arrived in Yerevan late on Monday after visiting Baku where she met with the president and foreign minister of Azerbaijan.

The purpose of her regional visit is to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the situation after the recent war with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In the Armenian capital the OSCE’s chairperson-in-office also met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian later on Tuesday.

According to the Armenian prime minister’s press office, during the meeting Linde highlighted the importance of the work of the Minsk Group co-chairs in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Pashinian, for his part, stressed the importance of close cooperation with the OSCE in ensuring stability and security in the region. The Armenian premier, too, emphasized that the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is only possible within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. In this regard, Pashinian also stressed the need for the clarification of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh and the exercise by Karabakh Armenians of their right to self-determination.

As quoted by his press office, Pashinian pointed out that “regional stability and lasting peace can only be achieved through constructive approaches and an appropriate confidence-building environment, while the Azerbaijani president’s continued aggressive and destructive statements cannot but undermine the process.”

In her capacity of the OSCE’s chairperson-in-office, Linde reportedly prioritized the Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ efforts in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as the efforts made by her personal representative towards achieving a lasting resolution and peace. She said that the OSCE and the international community, in general, have a role to play in terms of addressing the current situation and helping the parties find ways to settlement, a press release said. At the same time, the OSCE chairperson-in-office stressed the importance of respecting international humanitarian law and addressing humanitarian issues and expressed conviction that this will help build an atmosphere of mutual trust, it added.

Under the Moscow-brokered cease-fire that put an end to a deadly war, a chunk of Nagorno-Karabakh and all seven districts around it were placed under Azerbaijani administration after almost 30 years of control by ethnic Armenian forces.

Since then Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly stated that he considers the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolved and sees no issue of the region’s status.

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