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Statement In Response to France on behalf of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing Countries delivered by the Delegation of Armenia at the 1155th Meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council

21.07.2017

Mr. Chairperson,

Armenia does not interfere in the political life of the people of Artsakh including their electoral processes. Therefore in connection with the statements delivered today I would like to quote the comment made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh:

“As we have stated repeatedly, free, fair, transparent and competitive elections, as an integral part of political processes in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh Republic), are aimed at organizing the public life in the Republic and forming government through democratic procedure. They can in no way have a negative impact on the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. This position was confirmed in one form or another by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in their numerous statements.

Moreover, the mediators also noted the role of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in determining their future within the framework of the settlement of the conflict. We believe that elections are one of the forms of expressing the will of the people, and therefore their conduct is fully consistent with the logic of a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Azerbaijan's negative reaction to the political processes in Artsakh is caused not by concern for the efforts of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, which Baku itself undermines in every possible way, but the desire to exclude the very existence of Artsakh”.

Now let me add some points from my delegation. We understand that Azerbaijan tries to create impediments towards realization of all human rights of the people of Artsakh including political, civil, social, economic and environmental rights. This position of denying the very existence of the people of Artsakh and their rights is consistent and manifested in repeated attempts to use force and perpetrate atrocities including against civilians. Hence the position of Azerbaijan is clear cut for us.

The position of Turkey which was expressed today by the distinguished Ambassador is not surprising for us either since this country’s engagement with our region has always been marked by identity based affection or identity based animosity at least for the last hundred years. So we would not expect the recognition of the human rights of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh in the statement of Turkey irrespective of that country’s standing on other conflict situations and elections in the OSCE area.

In this context, we would also like to refer to the inconsistency of the statement of the EU. Unlike the statement delivered by France on behalf of the delegations of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, the EU statement lacks any reference to the human rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh which is at odds with the EU principles of non-discrimination and human rights for all. We firmly believe that disregarding human rights of people residing in conflict areas is not in line with the OSCE commitments and openly contradicts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Armenia will always stand by people of Artsakh and support their right for democratic development and free determination of their future.

Thank you.