The OSCE Minsk Group is no longer needed (OPINION)
By Yegana Hajiyeva
Azerbaijan, as a newly independent state, had been optimistic that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, which are permanent members of the UN Security Council, would succeed in their mediation efforts in the beginning of the 30-year-long conflict.
As permanent members of the UN Security Council, the Minsk Group co-chair countries participated in the process of drafting the well-known four resolutions on the Karabakh conflict and voted for them.
The OSCE Minsk Group has excluded itself from the settlement process by taking ineffective steps, freezing the actual settlement process, and extending the time without presenting real proposals and introducing an effective mechanism for nearly 30 years.
After 28 years, Azerbaijan had to implement the UN Security Council resolutions itself and liberated its territories from the Armenian occupation within 44 days.
After the liberation of Azerbaijani territories, it was found out that during the years of occupation the natural resources of Azerbaijan have been looted, and an ecological terror has been committed in these territories. The fact-finding mission sent twice by the Minsk Group to these territories turned a blind eye to these war crimes.
Having liberated its territories following a 44-day war, Azerbaijan has proved the ineffectiveness of the world-recognized big-budget peacebuilding “industry” and settlement mechanism.
The United States has replaced its co-chair at a time when there is no need for the activities of the Minsk Group.
The Minsk Group co-chair countries have also failed in their activities by not adequately responding to Armenia’s provocations and actions that undermined the efforts of the permanent members of the UN Security Council to resolve the conflict, as well as by demonstrating a biased position.
Thus, the OSCE Minsk Group is no longer needed. Preexisting conditions of impact on the region do not exist, and the creation of new conditions requires time and effort.
With its ineffective actions, the Minsk Group lost its mechanism of pressure and influence on the countries in the state of conflict and left itself out of the processes.
At a time when new realities emerged in the region and the Minsk Group was no longer needed, the appointment of a new Minsk Group co-chair by the US is a pointless decision.
On Thursday, Baku reacted to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's press statement on the appointment of Philip Reeker to the post of Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations.
“Such a statement causes surprise, as it shows an approach far from the post-conflict reality in the region. Azerbaijan's position regarding the Minsk Group has been repeatedly and clearly expressed at the highest level. Attempts to "resuscitate" the de-facto non-functioning Minsk Group may result in the US to be estranged from the process of normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations,” Leyla Abdullayeva, spokesperson for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry said.
“The Karabakh conflict has been resolved and Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. The international community, including our partners, should understand that connecting negotiations on the normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations with the Karabakh issue does not serve normalization at all,” she added.
Yegana Hajiyeva is political scientist, chairperson of the Institute of Young Democrats