OSCE Minsk Group Self-Archives As Caucasus Enters Conflict-Free Era

(MENAFN- AzerNews)
OSCE Minsk Group Self-Archives As Caucasus Enters Conflict-Free Era Image
Fatime Letifova Read more

The OSCE Minsk Group played the main mediator role in theArmenian-Azerbaijani conflict from the mid-1990s until the end of2020, that is, the Second Garabagh War.

In 1995-1997, the mediation mission was entrusted to the USA,Russia, and France. Considering that there is an active Armeniandiaspora in these three countries, it is not surprising that thisinstitution has neglected the Garabagh issue for nearly 30years.

It is no secret that the Minsk Group did not put any pressure onthe aggressor Armenia and did not apply any sanctions to thiscountry. These facts have harmed the reputation of the OSCE itselfand diminished hopes for this organisation.

It is interesting that on the basis of resolutions No. 822, 853,874, and 884 adopted by the UN Security Council, the OSCE MinskGroup had to unequivocally demand the unconditional withdrawal ofArmenian troops from the lands of Azerbaijan. However, when Armeniaoccupied the territories of Azerbaijan, buried thousands of minesin Garabagh, damaged historical and cultural monuments, and forcednearly 1 million Azerbaijanis to be separated from their homeland,the Minsk Group did not take any serious steps.

President of Ilham Aliyev noted in the meeting with the OSCEChairman-in-Office that a number of mechanisms that are remnants ofthe past within the framework of the OSCE - the OSCE Minsk Group,the High-Level Planning Committee, are completely inactivestructures and should be canceled in order.

Because the work of the Minsk Group was aimed at solving theGarabagh conflict, which is not considered a problem now. However,the Garabagh issue, which the group ignored for 30 years, found itsjustice in 44 days as a result of the efforts of the Azerbaijaniarmy and the Supreme Commander of Azerbaijan. The occupied lands ofAzerbaijan were freed from Armenian aggression. At present, theprocess of returning former displaced people to Garabagh, deminingthe territories, and implementing new infrastructure projects isongoing.

Many countries support the green energy, education, andarchitecture projects to be launched in Garabagh in the future;they want to be partners in the development here.

Peace talks are already underway between Azerbaijan and Armenia meeting of foreign ministers held in Almaty recently can beconsidered an indicator that peace will be established in theregion soon.

These processes make the completion of the mission of the Minskgroup an undeniable fact. Just like ending the activity of Russianpeacekeepers in Garabagh, it seems appropriate to stop the activityof the OSCE Minsk Group, which has been useless from the beginning,and spend the money wasted here on more useful things.

Until now, the activities of the Minsk Group consisted ofdiplomatic tourism. Undoubtedly, this organisation can achievegreat success in the field of tourism.
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister, Jeyhun Bayramov, also noted that theMinsk Group's mandate has ended at a press conference he held todaywith the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Minister of Foreign, EuropeanAffairs, and Trade of the Republic of Malta, Ian Borg.

Thus, the Azerbaijani minister offered OSCE to contribute toprojects such as mine safety, the return of former displacedpersons to their homes, and the and the elimination ofenvironmental damage instead of this expired institution.

It should be noted that the problems of the post-conflict periodare reflected in the region. The issue of landmines, which theMinsk Group has not given any attention to, hinders the developmentin Garabagh. Thus, Azerbaijan is on the list of countries mostcontaminated with landmines in the world.

Recall that despite attempts at formally requesting informationabout the location of those mines, Armenia repeatedly denied thatit possessed the relevant information and refused to engage on theissue.

Finally, in February of this year, Armenia submitted 8 minefieldmaps of territories located in the liberated lands to Azerbaijan maps cover some of the areas along the former contact line, the maps covering part of the former contact line passingthrough Khojavand, Tartar, and Goranboy districts, as well as theareas mined by Armenian military units when they retreated inNovember 2020, have not been submitted yet.

Many have suspicions about these maps because previous minefieldmaps submitted by Armenia were inaccurate. Only 25 percent of thesemaps were correct. Especially submitting minefield maps of theheights where civilians do not live increases this suspicion. It isalso worth noting that more than 55% of recent landmine cases haveoccurred outside the areas covered by the information provided.

The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action, known as ANAMA,has grown from a fledgling organisation to one fully equipped toclear mines, provide risk education, and assist survivors ofaccidents. Today, ANAMA's efforts are aimed at continuing theincrease and expansion of mine action capacity to provide clearanceof all liberated areas of Azerbaijan.



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