In the OCSE

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Azerbaijan became a member of this authoritative organization in 1992. That year on January 30, Azerbaijan, which was a member to the Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe, signed the organization’s documents at the CSCE summit on July 8 taking place in Helsinki. In February 1992, the first CSCE mission came to our republic to prepare a report regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In February, the report of the mission was listened at the meeting of the organization’s Committee of High-Ranking Persons (CHRP) taking place in Prague. The report confirmed the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijan territory. The Committee stated as well the necessity of achieving the conflict’s peaceful settlement.

In March 1992, CSCE representatives paid a second visit to the region, this time a report was listened to as well at the CHRP meeting, and the Committee again sufficed with an invitation of the parties to create a condition for the Peace Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh.

On March 24, CSCE Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs discussed the issue and adopted a

decision about summoning of a Peace Conference on Nagorno-Karabakh based on the CHRP guarantee in order to provide a peaceful settlement of the conflict. This laid the basis of the Minsk process.

In December 1994, a following summit of the heads of states and governments, which were members of the CSCE, took place in Budapest. One of the most significant decisions adopted at the summit was the expansion of the organization’s activity in the direction of the restoration of peace and safety in Europe.

Another of the most important events of the summit was that the organization was named the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe from January 1, 1995 in order to renew the CSCE structurally and expand its activity.

Participants of the summit discussed the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and agreed

that the appropriate provision be added to the documents regarding this issue. The provision was called “Intensification of CSCE action in relation to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”. This provision applauded the achievement of armistice between the parties and entrusted the acting chairman of CSCE to appoint the cochairmen of the Minsk Conference. The document reflected as well the necessity of sending peaceful forces for the settlement of the conflict.

The CSCE summit recommended the Minsk Conference to increase efforts with the help of the Minsk

group in acting appropriately for continuation of the existing armistice and signature of the peace agreement. After signature of the peace agreement here, it was intended to dispatch multinational peaceful forces to the conflict region.

One of the major outcomes of the Budapest summit was the creation of the co-chairmanship institution

in the Minsk group. The decision on the arrangement of the peaceful forces from military forces of different states prevented Russia’s intention to solve the issue alone. Let us note that at that time official Moscow was trying hard to have the peaceful forces consisting of exclusively the Russian Army.

In December 1996, three important documents (Lisbon Summit Statement of the OSCE countries, the Statement on the General and Comprehensive Security Model for the Europe of XXI century, and the

document about parameters of the restriction process of common armed forces in Europe and their scope of cover) were to be adopted at the summit of the heads of states and governments-members of the OSCE taking place in Lisbon. However, one of the provisions reflected in the summit’s statement, the 20th Article comprising the principles of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, caused rejection by the Armenian side. Armenia vetoed that article. Azerbaijan president Heydar Aliyev expressed his decisive rejection to the withdrawal of that article from the text of the statement and said he would veto all the documents of the summit. The conducted negotiations could not oblige the Azerbaijan President to change his position, and our country made use of the right of not giving consensus and vetoed all the documents of the summit. This meant that the Lisbon summit would finish ineffectively.

Article 20 showed that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could be settled on the basis of three principles:

– territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic;

– legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers

on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;

– guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to

ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.

The mentioned principles were accepted as the formula of the conflict’s settlement at the Helsinki

meeting of the OSCE Minsk group in November 1996.

After long and tense discussions, a consensus was achieved that all the principles reflected in Article 20 were confirmed by a special statement of the acting chairman of OSCE. The statement said: Cochairmen of the Minsk group have defined 3 principles to be a part of the settlement of the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict. These principles are supported by all member States of the Minsk group. They are:

– territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Republic;

– legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh defined in an agreement based on self-determination which confers

on Nagorno-Karabakh the highest degree of self-rule within Azerbaijan;

– guaranteed security for Nagorno-Karabakh and its whole population, including mutual obligations to

ensure compliance by all the Parties with the provisions of the settlement.

At the same time, all the members of OSCE, except Armenia, confirmed that the conflict’s settlement is possible only with the conditions that the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is maintained, Nagorno-Karabakh remains as part of Azerbaijan, and the security of all the population of Nagorno-Karabakh (including the Azerbaijanis living in the region) is provided. Armenia was confronted with an attack by the international union for the first time exactly at this summit and was isolated.

In 1999, at the Istanbul summit of OSCE, Azerbaijan made important steps in order to state its fair

position to the world.

Articles 20 and 21 of the Declaration adopted at the Istanbul summit were fully dedicated to the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and stated decisively the necessity of continuing the peace process. While the OSCE as an organization serving to maintain peace and the expansion of interstate cooperation in Europe has been fulfilling its mediation mission up to date in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it has failed to take any concrete step. Even if the absence of  concrete mechanisms in the organization for speeding up the settlement of the conflict play a certain role here, it should be confessed that the OSCE has opportunities to display certain pressure to the aggressive state and attract the world community to this process. OSCE has defined 10 security principles arising from the international law, which have all been violated by Armenia. Those principles are the following:

  1. Respect to sovereignty;
  2. Non-application of armed forces;
  3. Inviolability of the borders;
  4. Territorial integrity of the states;
  5. Peaceful settlement of the conflicts;
  6. Non-intervention in each-other’s internal affairs;
  7. Respect of human rights and freedoms;
  8. Respect of equality of the nations and the nations’ right to self-determination;
  9. Cooperation among the states;
  10. Fair fulfillment of the liabilities on international law. Armenia has displayed that it does not take

into account any of these principles by running an aggressive policy against Azerbaijan.

In the UN

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After the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started, this problem did not draw the attention of the international community for a long time. The first reason of this was that at the initial stage when, the conflict started, the world community was not interested in its elimination. This problem was one of the many factors which speeded up the collapse process of the USSR, and its elimination could impede the destructive processes going on inside the Soviet Union.

Armenians had conducted a serious campaign for getting support of the international community even before the conflict started. Here the opportunities of the Armenian lobby were used extensively as well. It is enough to cite just one fact that today there are very warm relations between the USA Congress, which has opportunities to control actually the social-political and economic processes going on in the world directly, and the Armenian lobby. The same words can be said as well about the French Senate.

Already in 1992 the Armenian armed units had sufficiently expanded the scope of their military operations targeted at occupation of our republic’s territories. However, not a single international organization gave an objective assessment of these occupational actions, which were going on in front of everybody and violated international legal norms in a rude way. True, at different times certain resolutions, statements of UN, OSCE and the European Union concerning this issue appeared, but those documents did not assess accurately the true reasons of the conflict, did not put any difference between the aggressor party and the party that was subject to aggression.

In 1991, after declaring its independence, the Azerbaijan Republic addressed all the international

organizations, including the UN and world states, concerning this. That address showed that the principles of democracy, liberty and equality are the main strategic ways of the republic and expressed the country’s desire to be accepted to the UN. In March 1992, Azerbaijan was accepted to the UN membership. In March the same year, Permanent Representation of Azerbaijan at UN opened in New York.

Thereafter, Azerbaijan turned to the UN asking it to express its attitude toward the aggressive policy of

Armenia and prevent this country’s aggressive actions. A UN delegation paid a visit to the region based on this address and gave appropriate information concerning this to the UN General Secretary. The UN General Secretary stated it supports the efforts of the CSCE (Conference for Security & Cooperation in Europe – since January 1995 OSCE – Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe) and is ready to render assistance to this organization for achieving the appropriate results. This was already the first symptom of the international community’s cold attitude to the issue.

In 1992 the occupation of Shusha made Azerbaijan turn to the UN once again. On May 12 the Security Council of UN sufficed by discussing the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and issuing a statement.  The statement was spread on behalf of the chairman of the Security Council. The statement expressed anxiety about the worsening situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and the necessity of rendering urgent assistance to the internally displaced persons. The document called the parties concerned to put an end to the violence and invited them to obey the provisions of the UN Charter. “The Members of the Security Council call upon all concerned to take all steps necessary to bring the violence to an end, to facilitate the work of the Secretary General’s mission and to ensure the safety of its personnel. They recall the statements made on their behalf by the President of the Council on 29 January (S/23496) and 14 February 1992 (S/23597) on the admission respectively of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the United Nations, in particular the reference to the Charter principles relating to the peaceful settlement of disputes and non-use of force”, – said the document. This displayed that the statement is in fact a common document not expressing anything about the real essence of the conflict. The only positive step of the UN Security Council was that the letter of the Permanent Representation of Azerbaijan to the chairman of the Security Council was spread as the official document of the latter. This letter assessed the military operations conducted by Armenia as an effort to violate the territorial integrity of a sovereign state.

Naturally, Armenia was also trying to take alternative steps. Because of this, in August 1992 a new meeting of the UN Security Council was held based on Armenia’s appeal, and a new statement of the Security Council chairman was spread. This document also called the parties concerned for a ceasefire and expressed UN’s deep concern at the deterioration of the situation.

In October 1992, the chairman of the UN Security Council accepted one more statement. However, this document did not differ at all from the previous ones either for its content or for its political essence. It also expressed deep concern at the grave situation, as well as the loss of human life, and stated that it supports the CSCE’s activity concerning the settlement of the conflict. Noting the necessity of an urgent negotiation process for regulation of the problem, the Security Council invited the parties to take concrete steps in this direction.

In 1993, one more region of Azerbaijan, Kalbajar, was occupied by Armenians. Azerbaijan appealed to the UN regarding this and asked it to assess the aggressor’s actions. On April 6, the statement of the UN Security Council was accepted. The statement expressed deep concern at the deterioration of the tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan and invasion of Kalbajar by “local Armenian forces”. The statement once more reaffirmed the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the states and once again expressed its support for the CSCE peace process. However, this statement did not assess the problem properly. The point is that the attitude to Armenia’s invasive policy was not reflected in the document and it stressed that ostensibly the “local Armenians” occupied Kalbajar. Let us note that this statement was mainly based on the information provided by Armenia. Armenia refuted the facts put down by Azerbaijan concerning participation in the occupation of Kalbajar and tried to prove that “local Armenians” were to blame in the region’s occupation.

The same year, on April 30, the UN Security Council adopted its first resolution regarding the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This document titled “United Nations Security Council resolution 822′” was prepared with reference to the statements the chairman of the Security Council had given on January 29 and April 6, 1993. The resolution pointed out that stability and public order in the region is under threat, expressed grave concern at the displacement of a large number of civilians and the

humanitarian emergency in the region. UN SC demanded the immediate cessation of all hostilities and hostile acts with a view to establishing a durable ceasefire as well as immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from Kalbajar district and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan. “Recalling the statements of the President of the Security Council of 29 January 1993 (S/25199) and of 6 April 1993 (S/25539) concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General dated 14 April 1993 (S/25600), Expressing its serious concern at the deterioration of the relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, Noting with alarm the escalation in armed hostilities and, in particular, the latest invasion of the Kalbajar district of the Republic of Azerbaijan by local Armenian forces, Concerned that this situation endangers peace and security in the region, Expressing grave concern at the displacement of a large number of civilians and the humanitarian emergency in the region, in particular in the Kalbajar district,

Reaffirming the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States in the region, Reaffirming also the inviolability of international borders and the inadmissibility of the use of force for the acquisition of territory, Expressing its support for the peace process being pursued within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and deeply concerned at the disruptive effect that the escalation m armed hostilities can have on that process,

1) Demands the immediate cessation of all hostilities and hostile acts with a view to establishing a durable cease-fire, as well as immediate Withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kalbajar district and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan;

2) Urges the parties concerned immediately to resume negotiations for the resolution of the conflict within the framework of the peace process of the Minsk Group of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and refrain from any action that will obstruct a peaceful solution of the problem”, – said the resolution.

However, this resolution was in fact not powerful enough to stimulate the achievement of peace in the region. First because the resolution of the UN Security Council was loaded with only general words and did not serve the purpose of giving any concrete assessment to the issue. On the other hand, the resolution did not reflect implementation mechanisms of the provisions contained in it. Though the document confirmed the fact that Azerbaijan territories have been invaded, it did not specify who had done it and stressed that ostensibly the “local Armenians” had achieved the military operations. This, surely, did not provide an opportunity to define the aggressive party and explain concrete ways for settlement of the conflict.

 

On July 23, 1993, the Armenian armed units occupied Aghdam region of Azerbaijan. Let us note that this already proved that Armenia does not care at all about the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council. At the end of July, the UN Security Council held a meeting and adopted the Resolution 853 concerning the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This resolution also demands the withdrawal of all the occupying forces from all the occupied areas of Azerbaijan, including Aghdam. The resolution expressed once again its grave concern at the displacement of large number of civilians in the Azerbaijan Republic and demanded the parties concerned to achieve a ceasefire in order to stop the conflict.

The Security Council reaffirmed once again the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan Republic and all other states in the region and endorsed the continuing efforts by the Minsk Group of the CSCE to achieve a peaceful solution. Meanwhile, the document particularly noted the deterioration of the relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the fact that some territories of Azerbaijan have been occupied, and as well concerned that this situation endangers peace and security in the region. Though in general, Resolution 853 of the UN Security Council looks more objective for some features than Resolution 822, here the issue was not accurately assessed as well because the Security Council did not name the aggressor, and preferred only sufficing with the “local Armenians” phrase, while already everybody knew who the aggressor was.

And now only one thing was left to do – to confirm this officially. However, the UN Security Council did not take this step.

In August 1993 after Armenia intensified its military operations in order to occupy the Fizuli region of Azerbaijan, anew statement of the UN Security Council was spread. The statement confirmed the fact of the occupation of Azerbaijan territories, stressed that Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan, and expressed serious concern at the tensions in the region.

The document stated that UN Security Council supports the settlement of the issue within the framework of CSCE, and at the same time is sure of the necessity that the parties themselves should take appropriate measures in order to eliminate the conflict.

The Statement reflected as well the necessity of the conflict parties to accept the specified version of the “Timetable of Urgent Steps” to implement UN Security Council resolutions 822 and 853. However, this Statement did not differ much from the previous documents either because it did not confess the fact that Armenia is the aggressive party, and the conflict was characterized as a problem between the Armenians living in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan.

This indefinite attitude created a favorable condition for the expansion of Armenia’s aggressive operations. Armenians made use of the fact that the international union did not display an objective reaction to the events, and they achieved new aggression acts by invading Azerbaijan territories.

Thus, Fizuli and Jabrayil regions were occupied as well. Notwithstanding that an agreement on ceasefire was achieved in August 1993, Armenians did not obey this and invaded Gubadli as well.

Azerbaijan had to turn to the UN Security Council once more. This appeal reflected that Azerbaijan does not agree with the “Renewed Timetable of Urgent Steps” prepared by the Minsk group. On October 14, 1993 the UN Security Council once again put the Nagorno-Karabakh problem to discussion and adopted the Resolution 874. This Resolution backed the “Renewed Timetable of Urgent Steps” prepared by the Minsk group and stated that it is possible to regulate the conflict based on this plan.

This Resolution did not differ from the previous ones for its essence either. It also expressed concern at tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan, reinforcement of the military operations in the front region, the deaths of many people, and occupation of Azerbaijan territories. It supported the CSCE’s efforts in the direction of the elimination of the conflict and confirmed once more the inviolability of states’ territorial integrity. However, meanwhile, it again did not name the aggressor party and the party subject to aggression, and stressed that the conflict is characterized only as a problem between the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan itself. On the other hand, interestingly, Resolution 874 stated nothing about the regions of Azerbaijan, which were occupied recently, while the previous resolutions contained concrete names of the occupied territories.

In October 1993, Armenia’s indifference to the documents adopted by the international organizations displayed itself even more openly. The Armenian armed forces occupied Zangilan region of Azerbaijan when the CSCE chairman was on a visit to the region. This was consequently a following event expressing the necessity of the international community’s objective assessment to the conflict.

On November 11, 1993, pursuant to an appeal by Azerbaijan, the UN Security Council put the situation linked with the continuation of the conflict again to discussion and adopted Resolution 884. The resolution expressed serious concern at the occupation of Zangilan region and the city of Horadiz of Azerbaijan and demanded withdrawal of the occupying forces from these territories. Naturally, this resolution was not implemented. Let us note that principally, the fore mentioned document again did not differ at all from the previous resolutions of the UN SC. None of these resolutions could reflect fully the requirements of the respective Charter of UN. The point is that for some reasons the documents adopted by the UN forgot about the significant principles of international law and did not determine any concrete mechanism for punishment of the aggressor. While this organization, which has certain experience in conflict settlement, had quite extensive opportunities to put an end to the aggressive policy, Armenia was working against Azerbaijan and the achievement of true and stable peace in the region.

In the EU

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The history of the cooperation between the European Union and Azerbaijan begins from 1993.

Relations between this international organization and our country were built exactly that year in February.

On April 7, 1993 the EU made a statement concerning the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In that statement, the Community and its member states expressed their concern over the deepening of the conflict and their sadness over the expansion of the operation in the Kalbajar and Fizuli regions. However, this statement did not express any concrete attitude regarding the fact that Armenia has occupied territories of our republic, and did not state any idea about the true reasons of the conflict. The EU was trying to approach the issue from a more neutral position and not confess whom the aggressor is.

In September of that year, new operations of the Armenian occupational forces in the border region

forced the organization to issue one more statement. This document condemned the military attacks against Azerbaijan and expressed concern over the greatly increased number of refugees. The EU supported the efforts of the CSCE Minsk group in the direction of the achievement of peace in the region, and called the parties concerned to create favorable conditions for the realization of this process. The organization required parties concerned to respect the UN resolutions and marked the necessity of the withdrawal of troops from the Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fizuli and Jabrayil regions. In addition, the statement required Armenia not to render assistance to the local Armenian forces, which have attacked the Azerbaijan territories.

“The Community and its member states fully support the efforts being made by the Minsk group

within the framework of the CSCE to consolidate the provisions on ceasefire. (On August 31, 1993 an agreement reached between authoritative bodies of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijan government regarding this). They urge the parties concerned to embark on any form of additional dialogue, which would make it possible to implement the timetable on which there was agreement in principal by all parties. The Community and its member States also hope to see local Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh fully respect United Nations Security Council Resolutions 822 and 853, and withdraw from the regions of Kalbajar, Agdam, Fizuli and Jabrail. The Community and its member States have no evidence that Azerbaijan would be capable of initiating major attacks from these regions.

One can see that the document contains no exact information about the conflict’s essence. At the same time, the EU did not show who the aggressive was.

In Nov 9, 1993 the EU adopted a new statement on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and this paper had no difference from previous ones. The organizations pointed out the concern over intensifying of attacks and that the increase in number of refugees would bring to more tension in the region

In general, the European Union’s position proved once more it is not interested in the conflict and did not display a serious trend to express its decisive position concerning this process because, settlement of the conflict is not included in the EU’s activity strategy. At the same time, it should be taken into account that initially the organization displayed very little interest in the Southern Caucasus and the process going on here in general. Since the EU has been the means of a pure economic union, it always tries to demonstrate a careful position regarding political issues, as well as conflicts.Despite this, one of the main events expressing the EU’s position concerning the Armenia- Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took place in 2003. For the settlement of the conflict, the organization suggested the return of 5 occupied regions of Azerbaijan instead of the opening of communication lines. This proposal was the object of discussions for a long time and maintains its topicality as well today. The EU’s intention both to develop relations with the region and to take an active part in the settlement of the Armenia –  Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has become quite a serious matter.

This once more displays that the peace process has been viewed in a wider plane, and the problem worries the international community.

All of these events show once more that despite separate states adopting different documents, resolutions, and statements’ concerning the aggressive policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the aggressive state does not yet retreat from its positions. This can be assessed because of the unwillingness of the international community to punish the aggressor the way it deserves. There is only one way of settling the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and this is to achieve as well this country’s observance of the principles of international law, which have been accepted by everybody.