Representatives of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries refuse to visit Shusha
Recently the ambassadors of 46 countries accredited in Azerbaijan visited Shusha as part of a trip organized on behalf of President Ilham Aliyev. It became known that the ambassadors of Russia, France and the United States – the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries – refused to travel to the city which has recently been declared the “cultural capital” of Azerbaijan. This fact caused serious discontent in Azerbaijani society.
After the end of the second Karabakh war, visits of representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Baku to the regions that came under the control of Azerbaijan are arranged periodically. So far, such official visits have been made to Fizuli, Zangilan, Jabrail, Gubadli, Lachin and Aghdam districts.
“This is an indicator of double standards”
According to the deputy of the Azerbaijani parliament, head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Samad Seyidov, the ambassadors of such countries as Austria, Belarus, China, Georgia, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Serbia, Tajikistan took part in the trip to Shusha. Ukraine, Japan, Greece, as well as representatives of the World Health Organization and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The MP believes that such trips are aimed at “acquainting representatives of diplomatic corps with the state of affairs directly on the spot, showing them the consequences of 30-year-old Armenian vandalism, as well as the results of their policy of “plundering and destroying the material and spiritual heritage of the Azerbaijani people”.
“Realities have created such a geopolitical situation that no matter who wants something else, the work carried out by Azerbaijan is accepted all over the world. This is a fairly obvious question for those involved in politics. For this reason, with each trip, the number of ambassadors visiting the liberated territories is growing. As for the fact that the halves of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries – Russia, France and the United States -not going, there may be various reasons for this.
The ambassadors of these three countries are required to participate in such trips. They must understand the importance of these events for the people of Azerbaijan. They are obliged to go to the territories liberated from the occupation and will go. Because it is one thing to make statements, and another thing to see the vandalism that was committed during the years of occupation, it is much more expedient”, Seyidov said.
He added that the ambassadors of Russia, France and the United States did not travel not only to Shusha but also to other territories that came under the control of Azerbaijan as a result of the second Karabakh war:
“Unfortunately, there are always double standards towards Azerbaijan on the part of some states and international organizations. France itself is a prime example of this. As for the United States, President Joe Biden’s congratulations on Republic Day on May 28 shows progress in the relationship. But in the decisions taken by Congress, you can see signs of double standards. we all see what is happening in the Russian media. Therefore, there will be double standards. But the main thing is not this, but the fact that Azerbaijan has created such geopolitical realities that can no longer be denied. These realities meet the interests of Russia, France and the United States”.
Tough statement of ex-Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan
“The ambassadors of the United States, Russia and France should be subjected to official and public disregard until they go to Shusha. In other words, they should not participate in receptions, they should not be invited to any events”. This opinion was expressed by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, diplomat Tofig Zulfugarov.
According to him, the absence of the invited ambassadors of the above three countries among the participants of the trip to Shusha is a demonstrative expression of their position:
“By doing so, they are giving a message about their intention to continue negotiations on the status of [Nagorno-Karabakh] after everything is settled. This is their behavior – the logic of the Madrid principles [on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict]. I cannot find the second meaning to the fact that the ambassadors of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries refuse to travel to the territories liberated from the occupation.
Azerbaijan is already obliged to show its unequivocal position. In fact, this position has already been voiced by President Ilham Aliyev. The head of state said that the conflict is over, there will be no status, Russia and Turkey, currently present in the region at the invitation of Azerbaijan, are helping in the reintegration of these territories.
From this point of view, there is no work left for the OSCE Minsk Group and this position has been voiced several times. But you see, this position of Azerbaijan does not like, first of all, Armenia, and the circles that hold other positions”.
The diplomat added that Azerbaijan has restored its sovereignty over its own territories:
“Nobody can take away these sovereign rights from Azerbaijan. speaking from this position, Azerbaijan should refuse from the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group. The time has come for that”.
Social media reaction
The refusal of the ambassadors of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries to travel to Shusha became the subject of heated discussions in the Azerbaijani segment of social media. Here are some typical comments:
“The reaction to the fact that the ambassadors of the United States, Russia and France refused to go to Shusha at the invitation of President Ilham Aliyev, should be unequivocal and as tough as possible: complete and final ignorance and non-recognition of the OSCE Minsk Group institution, handing out a note of protest to the ambassadors, and declaring the ambassadors themselves persona non grata. All three. And do not hesitate, do not worry about the consequences. With France, for all its recent acts, it is generally possible to begin the process of cutting off diplomatic relations”.
“Perhaps there are diplomatic reasons for the refusal of ambassadors to travel to the liberated territories. They may be afraid to appear supportive of one side. But I agree that soft measures should be taken against the ambassadors”.
“After that, the ambassadors of those three countries should not be invited to any state events, and that’s it. And also the state should not be represented at the events organized by these embassies. Until they come to their senses”.