Amb. Kirakossian addresses the OSCE Permanent Council, criticizes Azerbaijan

On November 13, the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the OSCE, Ambassador Arman Kirakossian delivered a speech in response to the reports of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov, James, Warlick, Pierre Andrieu as well as Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.

Ambassador Kirakossian highly appreciated the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, which have convened three summits on the Presidential level in Sochi, Newport and Paris within three months. He noted that during the last summit in Paris the sides reaffirmed the existing format of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs as an active and effective format and there is no alternative to the negotiation process. The Armenian side attached  importance to a speedy adoption of the Basic Principles, which will give an opportunity, will become a basis for drafting the main agreement.

The Permanent representative strongly condemned the shooting down by the Azerbaijani armed forces ofthe helicopter of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army during a training flight, by assessing this incident as a new provocation to further destabilize the situation and undermine the negotiation process. It was noted that by violation of cease-fire Baku is ignoring the appeals of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the international community on the non-use of force, consolidation of ceasefire, implementation of confidence-building measures, and bears full responsibility for the escalation of the situation.

The Armenian side expressed concern over the fact that in 2014 the cease-fire violations by Azerbaijan have multiplied and intensified in such dangerous forms as subversive activities and infiltration attempts, targeting civilian population and resorting to heavy weaponry, which has claimed unprecedented high number of casualties. By noting that every casualty in the conflict zone deepens the gap between the peoples, Ambassador Kirakossian urged the Azerbaijani side to accept confidence and security building measures proposed by the Co-Chairs on consolidation of the cease-fire regime, creation of investigation mechanism for incidents on the Line of Contact, withdrawal of snipers, which would reduce the number of cease-fire violations and save lives, and create conducive environment for achieving progress in peaceful resolution. It was stressed that the approaches of Armenia in this regard are fully shared by the international community and the Co-Chairs, while Azerbaijan refuses to implement CSBMs. The Ambassador expressed regret on the arrests of civil society representatives in Azerbaijan who have been involved in international projects on confidence building measures under the absurd allegations of espionage activities casts doubt on the sincerity of Azerbaijani side to pursue humanitarian contacts between our societies.

At the conclusion of the speech, Ambassador Kirakossian underlined that the Armenian side will continue joint efforts with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk group, aimed at the exclusively peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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