12 April, 2016

Nagorno-Karabakh region – an urgent need of a peaceful and sustainable solution for an endless frozen conflict

In the light of today’s plenary debates in the European Parliament, over the conflict escalade in Nagorno-Karabakh region, as a member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee, once again I want to underline the need of a peaceful resolution of this frozen conflict.

In line with all the international engagements and resolutions, as well as with the declarations of both parties involved, only by a complete abstention of using the military force and a return to the dialogue table, it can be a hope for a sustainable solution in this troubled area. After more than two decades of frozen conflict and years of war, which both caused tens of thousands of victims, hundreds of thousands of displaced people and an endless drama for the local population, it is the time not for a new open confrontation but for a solution capable of bringing back the peace in the region.

War has never served the needs and interests of the people but only twisted political agendas and the geopolitical games of external actors.

For the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, as well as for all the other open or frozen conflicts, I can’t see any other sustainable solution other than within the limits of the international law. For the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan we already have a legal framework, set by the United Nations Security Council resolutions 822 (of April 1993), 853 (of July 1993), 874 (of October 1993) and 884 (of November 1993), as well as the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/243 (of March 2008). To these decisions of the United Nations we must add the OSCE Minsk Group Principles, as stated in July 2009, at the L’Aquila, Italy meeting, and backed by the countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group: Russia, France and USA.

In line with the international law guidelines and all the decisions already adopted by the European Parliament in its Resolutions of May 2010, April 2012, October 2013 and June 2015, I urge the parties to re-lunch the negotiation process under OSCE Minsk Group guiding principles. This implies a retreat of Armenian armed forces from all the Azerbaijani occupied territories, the acceptance of the basic principles of territorial integrity, conflict settling without the use of force, equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the right of the internally displaced people to return to their former households and an agreement for an international peacekeeping operation in the region.