Erdogan calls for immediate steps to resolve Karabakh conflict

Fri 10 March 2017 15:04 GMT | 19:04 Local Time

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The settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict requires immediate steps, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan made the remarks addressing the sixth meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council in Moscow March 10, an APA correspondent reported from Moscow.

“The latest developments on the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops shows how critical the situation is. There is a growing risk of a new war,” said the Turkish leader.

Erdogan stressed the need to start comprehensive negotiations to resolve the conflict.

“We believe that Russia, as one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, can play a key role in resolving the Karabakh conflict,” he added.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.

A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.

The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.

Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.

Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.  

Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.

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