Armenia criticizes Azerbaijan for ‘abusing the OSCE principle of consensus’

Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesman has Baku for “abusing the OSCE principle of consensus” and “opposing the whole organization.”

“Due to its extremely destructive stance Azerbaijan finds itself in a total isolation. OSCE Chairmanship, participating States, Secretariat support activities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan, and it is solely Azerbaijan that abuses the OSCE principle of consensus, singlehandedly blocking the decision on the continuation of activities of the OSCE office in Yerevan thus opposing the whole Organisation,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tigran Balayan said.

The comments come in the wake of the announcement of lack of consensus over the extension of mandate of OSCE Office in Yerevan

“Today, the Representative of the OSCE Austrian Chairmanship delivered a statement at the Permanent Council meeting announcing that despite exerted efforts, it has not been possible to reach an agreement on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. As at the Permanent Council meeting in January, also today the Austrian Chairmanship praised the constructive efforts of Armenia aimed at finding a solution to the issue. Likewise, the constructive approaches of Armenia were commended by other participating States,” Balayan said in comments to News.am.

The Armenian Delegation to the OSCE made a statement reflecting on all steps undertaken by Armenia together with previous – German and current – Austrian Chairmanships aimed at ensuring the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. Armenian side recalled actions of Azerbaijan aimed at closing the Office which increasingly enhanced, although the OSCE Austrian and the German Chairmanships clearly refuted Azerbaijani false allegations targeting the Office.

After closing the OSCE Office in Baku and blocking also the activities of the Office in Yerevan, Azerbaijan deprives the OSCE of fully-fledged presence in the South Caucasus, which will have a detrimental impact not only on the activities of the Organisation in our region but the OSCE as a whole and its structures.

All efforts by the Austrian Chairmanship and the participating States to make Baku  act constructively and refrain from hampering the activities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan have failed.

Both in foreign and domestic policies Azerbaijan on a daily basis violates the principles and commitments of the OSCE, including fundamental freedoms and as a result faces constant international criticism. Now again by impeding and challenging the OSCE activities, Azerbaijan scores another failure, thus deepening the gap between itself and the international community.

As an active OSCE participating State, Armenia will continue to contribute to the realisation of the OSCE goals. We will consider new avenues of implementing OSCE projects in Armenia as have been also proposed by participating states at the Permanent Council.

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