BAKU: OSCE FMs council sitting commences in Sofia

OSCE FOREIGN MINISTERS COUNCIL SITTING COMMENCES IN SOFIA
[December 06, 2004, 23:26:24]

AzerTag, Azerbaijan
Dec 6 2004

The 12th sitting of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Council has commenced
in Sofia, 6 December. Delegation of Azerbaijan led by foreign
minister Elmar Mammadyarov attends the action.

On the eve, a meeting of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and
Armenia with participation of the OSCE MG co-chairs was held in
Sofia. Discussed were a number of questions connected to settlement
of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh conflict, and stressed
necessity of active and efficient continuation of the negotiation
process in the near future. Starting from this, there was reached
agreement to hold next round of meeting in format of Prague meeting
of the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia during forthcoming
meeting of the ministers of NATO Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council on
9 December in Brussels. In the Sofia meeting, also was discussed the
question initiated by the Azerbaijan side on sending a fact-finding
mission of OSCE to the region connected to illegal replacement of
population in the occupied territories.

Speaking on the first day of meeting, foreign minister of Azerbaijan
Elmar Mammadyarov attracted attention of participants to the
Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh conflict. He, in particular,
said that Armenia, attempting to strengthen sequences of its military
aggression in the occupied Nagorny Karabakh region of the Azerbaijan
Republic, pursues active policy of replacement of population in the
occupied territories, which is contradicts international humanitarian
law. This especially contradicts the 1949 Geneva Convention. He also
stated that Azerbaijan adheres peaceful settlement of the problem in
the frame of international legal principles and norms, relevant
resolutions of the UN Security Council, and documents of OSCE. He
noted that Azerbaijan stands ready to normalize the relations with
Armenia, but Armenia should observe international legal and
democratic principles and not base on the realities it gained by
force and territorial claims. The Minister, positively assessing the
Prague meetings, expressed his concern with illegal re-settlement of
population in the occupied territories that seriously impedes the
negotiation process and called on the OSCE to make its contribution
in settlement of the problem.

In the frame of sitting, Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has held meetings
with the EU commissioner on foreign relations and European
Neighboring Policy Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, OSCE Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights Bureau director Christian Stroghal,
special envoy of the OSCE Chairman-In-Office on Armenia-Azerbaijan
conflict Phillip Dmitrov, as well as heads of the delegations of
Turkey, Belgium, Austria and Greece.

The 12th sitting of the OSCE ministerial Council will continue on 7
December.

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