Azerbaijan's president sharply criticised the OSCE Minsk Group this week, expressing his dissatisfaction with that the co-chairs are trying to "freeze" rather than resolve the conflict.
"I regret that the OSCE Minsk Group, which should be directly involved in the matter, did not seek to resolve it but to freeze the conflict. Their current work is absolutely meaningless," he said.
Ilham Aliyev was speaking at a meeting with a group of young Azerbaijanis on the 20th anniversary of the Azerbaijani youth forum.
The co-chairs protect Armenia, says Aliyev, who referenced a recent statement by the co-chairs addressed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and other international organizations, urging that steps not be taken which could "undermine the Minsk Group's mandate from the OCSE or complicate ongoing negotiations"
President Aliyev took this as evidence that the OSCE Minsk Group is applying pro-Armenian pressure on international organisations such as the PACE.
British PACE representative Robert Walter proposed a motion this week criticizing Armenian troops for occupying Nagorno-Karabakh and other parts of Azerbaijan, and escalating violence in the region. Walter called on Armenia to leave Nagorno-Karabakh. The motion was narrowly rejected.
"Look to what their provocative activities led in the last hearing in the Council of Europe. That is, will they put pressure on all the international organizations? Giving instructions to all the international organizations?" the apa.az website quoted Aliyev as saying.
"So what estimation could be given to the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group? Only negative."
The Council of Europe in Strasbourg considered two resolutions criticising the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, one of which, focusing on Armenia's supposed neglect of a reservoir which used to provide Azerbaijanis with water, passed.
source: commonspace.eu with president.az and apa.az
The meeting in Krakow between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan did not lead to a breakthrough, and none was expected. But there appears to be a change of gear in the negotiations, says Dennis Sammut in this week's Monday Commentary