Azerbaijan condemns sending of OSCE mission to Armenia


Azerbaijan on Thursday denounced the move to send an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission to Armenia, saying that no discussions were made within the organization.

“The issue of sending an ‘OSCE needs assessment mission’ was never discussed by any collective decision-making body of the OSCE, and as a result, no decision has been taken on this matter,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that any such group “does not have an OSCE mandate, cannot be associated with the OSCE in any way, and none of its outcomes or reports can be accepted as an OSCE document.”

The Foreign Ministry statement described the group’s arrival to Armenia as a “private visit” comprised of several participating states.

It further said that this step raises serious questions considering that efforts to resolve the tensions between the two countries were “always prevented by the OSCE during the past 30 years.”

“The fact is that, within the framework of the OSCE, based on consensus, it took years to agree upon the two OSCE missions to then-occupied territories of Azerbaijan in 2005 and 2010, respectively, due to the openly unconstructive position by Armenia,” it added.

The statement also expressed that appeals by Azerbaijan to send such a mission was not addressed prior to 2020 because of Armenia’s opposition.

“Such an ill-advised unilateral action by the OSCE Chairmanship and Secretariat goes contrary to the basic principles of any responsible and credible mediation and confidence-building, which require, inter alia, the consent of the parties, the impartiality of mediators and compliance with obligations of States under international law,” the statement concluded.

The OSCE announced that it will send a needs assessment team to the country on Oct. 21-27, following Armenia’s invitation.

On Tuesday, the OSCE urged an “immediate cease-fire” after the latest border flare-up between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Relations between the former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.

Baku liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44-day clashes in the 2020 fall, which ended after a Moscow-brokered truce. The peace agreement is celebrated as a triumph in Azerbaijan.



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