OSCE MG would better be involved in humanitarian issues: expert
It would be good if the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs were more involved in humanitarian issues such as the return of Azerbaijani refugees to their native lands, while settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Elkhan Alasgarov, PhD, head of the Expert Council of the Baku International Policy and Security Network (Baku Network), told Trend.
He was commenting on the recent statements by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair from the US Richard Hoagland.
Richard Hoagland has earlier told Trend that the United States remains committed to working with the parties of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict toward a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
He noted that the issues relating to the return of territories, return of Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs to their lands, non-use of force, and status for Nagorno-Karabakh are all important elements of a comprehensive settlement the parties need to discuss.
“Recent statements of Hoagland are more positive in nature. In one statement he said that one of the main issues in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is the return of Azerbaijani refugees to their lands. In principle, this is not news, as the Azerbaijani refugees are coming back to Karabakh and the return of Jojug Marjanli villagers to their lands is a vivid example of that,” said Elkhan Alasgarov.
As for the non-use of force, mentioned in the US co-chair’s statement, Alasgarov noted that this issue will certainly be very topical after the return of the refugees.
“When it comes to compromises in the conflict resolution process, it should be noted that the main compromise on the part of Azerbaijan is granting autonomy to the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan is ready to grant a high degree of autonomy,” he said.
The expert reminded that in another statement, Richard Hoagland said it would be logical to install new electronic equipment along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops and remove snipers. Alasgarov believes that these recommendations, even if realized, will not lead to a decrease in the number of incidents, because the main reason of military clashes is the conflict itself.
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, in 1992 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 the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.