The Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has issued a statement fixing its position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The statement was issued during a meeting it held in the Armenian Capital, Yerevan, on 31 May, coinciding with Armenia's accession of the rotating Presidency of the Council of Europe.
In its statement PACE said:
"The search for a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a commitment taken by Armenia and by Azerbaijan upon their accession to the Council of Europe. In this context, we express our full support to the negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, on the basis of the ‘Madrid principles' which establish a framework for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Assembly urges Armenia and Azerbaijan to seize the opportunity offered by their respective chairmanships of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, to promote reconciliation between these two member states and their populations, as well as to intensify the search, in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, for a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This should be reflected in the respective priorities of these two chairmanships.
Our Assembly is ready to do everything it can, through parliamentary diplomacy, to facilitate dialogue and establish a climate of trust between parliamentarians from both member States."
source: Council of Europe
photo: Meeting of the Standing Committe of PACE in Yerevan on 31 May 2013 (picture courtesy of the Council of Europe)
Ahead of the expected Armenia-Azerbaijan summit, Benyamin Poghosyan argues in this op-ed for commonspace.eu, that the negotiating paradigm based on the Madrid principles is doomed.
"In essence this is an olive branch to the government's critics", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment. "Its significance should not be understated. President Aliyev has in the last weeks been preparing the country for major changes. This presidential pardon may well be the opening shot of more to come".