Tuesday, September 17 2019 11:30
Alexandr Avanesov

ANCA: US and its OSCE partners need to provide stronger leadership in  countering Azerbaijani incitement and aggression

ANCA: US and its OSCE partners need to provide stronger leadership in  countering Azerbaijani incitement and aggression

ArmInfo.The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) held talks with senior officials of the State Department regarding sustainable paths to a lasting and  democratic peace between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. According to the  ANCA, Cheryl Fernandez, director of the Caucasus Affairs and Regional  Conflict Department, and Andrew Schaufer, co-chair of the OSCE Minsk  Group from the United States, participated in the talks. On behalf of  ANCA, the head of the structure Raffi Hambaryan and the Director of  Government Affairs of ANCA Teresa Yrimyan participated in the  negotiations.

"ANCA appreciates our many years of dialogue with the State  Department on a wide range of issues and welcomes this opportunity to  discuss the most constructive opportunities for the United States  aimed at promoting peace, progress and prosperity for citizens of  Artsakh and neighboring states," ANCA Chairman Raffi Hambarian said  after the meeting. According to him, the United States and its OSCE  partners, recognizing that progress at the peace negotiating table  requires local stability, should provide stronger leadership in  countering Azerbaijani incitement and aggression. It is necessary to  find ways to counter Baku's irresponsible opposition to the  implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals. In addition,  Ambaryan continued, the United States should help resume the stalled  peace process by replacing the clearly untenable Madrid principles  with a stronger and more democratic approach to peace within the  framework of the OSCE Minsk Group platform.

According to the source, the Royce-Engel peace proposal, supported by  the ANCA, consists of three elements: the conclusion of an agreement  not to deploy snipers, the withdrawal from the contact line of the  Artsakh and Azerbaijani armed forces of heavy weapons. To this end,  it is planned to deploy advanced systems and equipment under OSCE  supervision to determine the source of attacks along the line of  contact. In addition, the proposal provides for the introduction of  additional OSCE observers to better monitor ceasefire violations.  However, to date, Azerbaijan has not agreed to implement the  Royce-Engel proposal.

Earlier this year, the ANCA issued a statement outlining the  shortcomings of the Madrid Principles. The statement in particular  noted that ANCA supports negotiations in the format of the OSCE Minsk  Group as a constructive platform for continuing negotiations, but  rejects the Madrid principles as a deeply erroneous and, ultimately,  counterproductive plan that impedes peace and increases the risk of a  renewed war. "The Madrid principles are deeply asymmetric commitments  requiring preliminary, strategic and irrevocable concessions to the  land and security by Artsakh in exchange for only vague, deferred and  incomprehensible promises regarding the status of Artsakh. The phased  implementation of the Madrid principles places all responsibility on  Artsakh, and all the benefits on Azerbaijan: This incorrect formula  will not lead to peace, but rather will create conditions for the  continuation of the conflict and regional instability. Azerbaijan  over the past 25 em consistently violated his obligations under the  1994 tripartite ceasefire with Armenia and Artsakh, questioning  whether his current or future leadership would in practice comply  with Baku's obligations in accordance with the Madrid principles. The  Madrid principles contradict our basic American belief in democratic  self-determination A democratic and lasting settlement must be based  on the right of free citizens to live under the direction of the  government of their choice. The Madrid principles do not apply or  even recognize the occupation by Azerbaijan of Artsvashen (Republic  of Armenia) and parts of Shaumyan, Martakert and Martuni (Republic of  Artsakh). In the context of the history of Armenia, the politics of  Azerbaijan, democratic principles, international law or the precedent  for resolving conflicts, there is no reason to believe that  surrendering vast territories to Azerbaijan will somehow make Artsakh  safer and Azerbaijan less aggressive, "the statement said.

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