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Armenia and Azerbaijan offer views on Nagorno-Karabakh during UN debate

Armenia and Azerbaijan offer views on Nagorno-Karabakh during UN debate

As the United Nations General Assembly continued its high-level debate today, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan expressed their views on the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

Taking the floor first, Vartan Oskanian, the Foreign Minister of Armenia, noted that the Assembly’s agenda includes an item on protracted conflicts. “Putting all these conflicts in one pot is inherently flawed. Our own conflict, Nagorno-Karabakh, does not belong there. The UN is not the place to address [it] because that issue is being addressed within the OSCE” – the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“We are negotiating with Azerbaijan and we’re inching towards a resolution,” he said.

He said that the process is evolving. “We have a balanced, solid document in our hand which addresses not only the core issue but also the consequential issues, and the two together add up to a reasonable solution.”

At the core of the process, he said, “lies the right of people to self-determination.”

In a subsequent address to the Assembly, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, said the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh poses the most serious challenge to the region’s security. “As a result of the conflict, we are still facing the continued occupation by Armenia of a significant part (almost 20 per cent) of the international recognized territories of Azerbaijan,” he said.

“We are hosting around 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were ethnically cleansed and brutally expelled from their homes of origin in Armenia and in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”

The negotiations being held in the framework of the OSCE “have not yielded any results so far,” he said.

“And as the time passes the more difficult it is for us to observe from our side of the line of contact the attempts of the current Armenian leadership to consolidate the results of occupation of our territories, destroy everything associated with the Azerbaijani legacy in these territories and carry out illegal activities thereon,” he said. “The United Nations shall not tolerate such action.”