YEREVAN, March 4. /ARKA/. Anna Naghdalyan, spokeswoman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, commented today on a meeting held yesterday between the Turkish Foreign Minister and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met yesterday in Ankara with OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France, Andrew Schofer of the United States and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, Personal Representative to the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the OSCE Minsk Group should produce more in terms of the resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
“This solution should be in full respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan,” he wrote in Twitter.
Anna Naghdalyan recalled that Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has already reacted to this statement, saying that “Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s advise to OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict invites reflection on Luke 4:23 – “Physician, heal thyself.’
‘We would like to add that Turkey, which pursues an unfriendly policy towards Armenia and the Armenian people, which in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is also expressed in the unilateral military-political support given to Azerbaijan, cannot play any role in the peaceful settlement of the conflict,’ Naghdalyan stated.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted into armed clashes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the predominantly Armenian-populated enclave of Azerbaijan sought to secede from Azerbaijan and declared its independence backed by a successful referendum.
On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations. A truce was brokered by Russia in 1994, although no permanent peace agreement has been signed. Since then, Nagorno-Karabakh and several adjacent regions have been under the control of Armenian forces of Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is the longest-running post-Soviet era conflict and has continued to simmer despite the relative peace of the past two decades, with snipers causing tens of deaths a year.
In the early hours of April 2, 2016 Azerbaijan, in gross violation of the agreements launched a large-scale offensive along the entire Line of Contact between the armed forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, using heavy weaponry, artillery and combat aircraft. Only thanks to the decisive actions of the Defense Army, which gave a fitting rebuff, on April 5, Azerbaijan was forced to ask, as in 1994, through the mediation of the Russian Federation for the cessation of the hostilities. It has been generally maintained, despite the recurrent violations by the Azerbaijani side.