The co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group carry out their mediation activity to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of the existing mandate, which was also approved by the Azerbaijani side, spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend on Oct. 16.
Abdullayeva was answering the question of whether the route of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who are visiting the region from Yerevan to Karabakh and only then Baku, has been agreed with both parties or whether it is the decision of the co-chairs themselves and may be considered as disrespect for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
"The current visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen is their another trip within the implementation of this mandate,” the spokesperson said. “I would like to stress that during the visits, the co-chairmen traditionally maintain contacts with both the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.”
“Similar trips have been made before repeatedly and are considered by Azerbaijan as an activity within the ongoing efforts to resolve the conflict on the basis of the norms and principles of international law by observing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity," she said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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