OSCE Mission in Armenia


Azat Artsakh – Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)
04 Feb 05

The OSCE mission consisting of 17 members and headed by the head of
the OSCE department of the foreign ministry of Germany Emily Haber
started its work in NKR on January 31 and will stay in Nagorni
Karabakh for 10 days. The monitoring group was set up after Azerbaijan
lodged a complaint in the UN that Armenia fulfills a policy of
re-settlement of the liberated areas adjacent to Karabakh. In this
connection the negotiations for the settlement of the Karabakh problem
is threatened. By the demand of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen
Azerbaijan withdrew the question from the agenda of the UN General
Assembly session. Instead it was decided to set up a monitoring group
in the framework of theOSCE which will check the facts presented by
Azerbaijan. In this connection the NKR foreign ministry made an
official statement emphasizing that Karabakh does not hide anything
from the international community and a small number of refugees from
Azerbaijan live in the territories controlled by Karabakh. Mrs. Haber
told the Karabakh journalists that the group will make a technical and
not political report. Besides, she informed that during the meeting
with the NKR president the members of the group got a lot of important
information for their further work. The monitoring group will start
its work at the region of Karvachar and will visit all the liberated
regions of NKR. The standpoint of Armenia in reference to the arrival
of the OSCE experts group is the following: â=80=9CCome and control.’
This statement was made by the vice speaker of the parliament of
Armenia Vahan Hovhannissian at his press conference on January
28. According to him, in the recent years Azerbaijan keeps raising in
international organizations the question of uncontrollability of the
territories adjacentto Nagorni Karabakh, where allegedly drug
business, trafficking and crime is thriving.` Those international
organizations which are concerned about these questionsmay send their
groups of experts for the thorough study of the situation. We are not
against such missions,’ stated Vahan Hovhannissian. By the way,he
reminded that the population of those regions mainly consists of
Armenians forced out of the towns Dashkesan, Kirovabad, Baku and
Sumgait of Azerbaijan. â=80=9CAnd what else do they have to do?’ asks
Vahan Hovhannissian. `Naturally, people living there take part in the
elections to the municipalities and live a normal life.’ `If this is
a crime then nothing has changed since the beginning of the 20th
century,’ said the parliamentarian, adding that `a correct statement
of the question may have a positive solution for the Armenian party.’
The leader of the Azerbaijani Organization for Liberation of Karabakh
Akif Naghli told the Azerbaijani news agency `Kavkazski Uzel’ that the
visit of the OSCE mission to the region is the achievement of the
Armenian foreign policy because â=80=9Cthere are no representatives of
Azerbaijan and Turkey in the delegation’.Besides, A. Naghi mentioned
that the mission must by all means pass through the territory of
Azerbaijan. Touching upon the problem of security of the mission the
chairman of the OLK said that the OSCE need not lay the responsibility
on Azerbaijan. A. Naghi said that in case of a positive assessment of
the OSCEmission the OLK will organize actions after the report of the
mission in favour of Armenia. The OSCE experts group is headed by the
head of the OSCE department of the foreign ministry of Germany Emily
Margaret Haber. Besides the representatives of the Minsk Group
countries the delegation includes experts from Finland, Italy, Sweden
and Germany. The experts will conduct monitoring in the regions
controlled by the Karabakh armed forces to find out whether the claims
of the Azerbaijanis that those territories are widely populated by
Armenians are true. Commenting on the meetings with the OSCE Minsk
Group co-chairmen and the international group of experts the
Azerbaijani minister of foreign affairs Araz Azimov announced that
re-settlement of the `occupied territories ofAzerbaijan’ is carried
out with the direct involvement of Armenia. He mentioned that during
the meeting with the OSCE delegation and the Minsk Group co-chairmen
the Azerbaijani party presented to the mission video and audio records
which testify to the re-settlement of the `occupied territories’, as
well asgeographic maps. According to him, more than 23 thousand
people have illegally settled in the ` occupied territories’. Azimov
emphasized that this has a negative impact on the negotiations for the
settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Answering the question of the
news agency `Regnum’ what facts Baku presented to the group, Youri
Merzlyakov said that those were `satellite photos testifying to the
existence of settlements in the territories adjacent to Nagorni
Karabakh.’ `We shall find out if there are people, where they came
from, when and whether by their will,’ said the Russian diplomat. The
minister of defence of Nagorni Karabakh Seyran Ohanian said that he
has a normal attitude toward such monitoring.` Those territories are
under the strict control of the NKR government. However, we cannot
forbid our citizens to farm in those territories. As to the fate of
the territories, the great talks are ahead and any decision on these
territories must be made in the framework of this process,’ said the
minister of defence of NKR.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress