Tuesday 24 April 2018 Last Update: 10:35 AM

Karabakh Conflict Dominated OSCE’s 2016 Agenda

Published: 04-11-2017

Despite a deadly spike in the confrontation over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and limited progress overall, the OSCE persists in striving towards peaceful and durable settlement to this conflict, says the OSCE Annual Report 2016.

“Conflicts in the OSCE area continued to dominate the organization’s agenda in 2016,” reads the report. “The renewed escalation of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in spring 2016 necessitated intensified crisis management.”

“The German chairmanship invested considerable efforts in addressing these and other conflicts with the aim of strengthening OSCE formats for conflict resolution and improving the living conditions of people affected by these conflicts,” said the report.

“With regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the chairmanship reacted swiftly after the escalation of hostilities at the line of contact in April 2016, initiating a special meeting of the Permanent Council and advocating the implementation of agreements reached at the presidential level in Vienna and St. Petersburg concerning the expansion of the office of the personal representative of the chairperson-in-office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, and the establishment of an investigative mechanism,” said the OSCE report.

“The [OSCE] chairmanship called for the resumption of a political negotiation process to settle the [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict,” the document said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.