By Sara Rajabova
Armenia wants to maintain the status quo as long as possible and it is unwilling to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories and accepts negotiations as a process, trying to buy time, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has stated.
The president made the remark addressing a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, dedicated to the social and economic development in 2015 and the objectives for the future.
"Armenia doesn’t want peace," President Aliyev said.
His remarks came as no progress has been achieved towards the settlement of the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which remains a source of instability in the South Caucasus region for nearly three decades.
The efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, an international framework to settle the conflict through co-chairing of the United States, France and Russia, have yielded no efforts just in the previous years.
Armenia continues to hold destructive position in the negotiation process, attempting to maintain the status quo, which was deemed as unacceptable by Azerbaijan and international community.
President Aliyev stressed that Armenia wants to see the negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement as a never-ending process in the future.
However, the president noted that Azerbaijan's position is completely different.
“We want the conflict to be resolved and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have repeatedly stated that they also want the conflict to be settled. Unfortunately, no pressure in this direction is exerted on the occupier,” he said.
Stressing that no progress is observed in the conflict settlement, the president said the recent meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents was a meeting of informal nature.
The long-awaited meeting between presidents Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia was held under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs - Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France - in Bern, Switzerland on December 19.
However, the meeting left hopes for the breakthrough in the negotiation process to settle the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict unfulfilled for the next time. The situation on the contact line of two countries armies’ still remains tense, as the Armenian side continues to escalate tension with ceaseless truce breaches.
The talks in Bern became another proof of the fact that Armenia is not ready to talk to Baku. Yerevan once again tried to buy time, and to keep the status quo in place.
In addition, the efforts of the mediators remain ineffective to resolve the conflict. The co-chairs don’t show the necessary attention to the some aspects of the conflict in the meantime ignoring Armenia’s continuous aggression. This fact contributes to prolonging of the stalemate in the negotiation process.
“Unfortunately, this is disrespect of the OSCE Minsk Group towards the basic documents and principles of the organization that they represent, as well as the superiority of the rule of law,” Azerbaijani MP Asim Mollazade told AzerNews in a phone conversation.
Mollazade said that no country is allowed to occupy the territory of a neighboring country, and in this case it is necessary to impose appropriate sanctions against the aggressor and to take steps making it to peace.
He believes that merely lack of correct legal approach disabled the OSCE Minsk Group to succeed.
The aggressor is trying to maintain the status quo and takes no step in the direction of peace because it faces no condemnation.
“The president was quite right stating that Azerbaijan is always ready to participate in the negotiations, as the country needs peace,” Mollazade underlined.
Armenia captured Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions from Azerbaijan in a war that followed the Soviet breakup in 1991. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and nearly 1 million were displaced as a result of the war.
Large-scale hostilities ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal.
Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.