The West stands for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It supports Azerbaijan, whose territory was occupied and 1 million refugees were expelled 20 years ago, Russia-Eurasia Center Director and Trend Expert Council Member Alexandr Rahr said.
“The European Parliament in the new resolution once again indicated its principles of supporting Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and non-recognition of Armenia’s right to continue the occupation of Azerbaijani territories,” he told Trend over phone from Berlin.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution on EU negotiations on an association agreement with Azerbaijan and Armenia which reflects the respect for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. The resolution was adopted at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
It is noted that an associative agreement with Azerbaijan and Armenia will not be signed within the EU Eastern Partnership until the Azerbaijani occupied territories are liberated and pass to Azerbaijan’s control and refugees return to their native land.
The document also states that the occupation of the territory of one state by another is a violation of international principles and is contrary to the fundamental principles of the EU Neighbourhood Policy and harms Eastern Partnership programme. It also indicated the need to investigate the facts on illegal settlements in Azerbaijan’s occupied territories.
The European Parliament’s resolution confirms the EU and NATO principles that the integration with a country occurs when the country will resolve its territorial problems. The country, having an unresolved territorial conflict, is not an object for integration with the EU, he said.
“On the other hand, Europe sometimes thinks of double standards, as in case of other conflicts,” he said. “Therefore, the resolution would be more beneficial for Azerbaijan if the EU did not have their “skeletons in the closet” and if it called for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian troops from occupied territories.”
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France, and the U.S. – are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
The Eastern Partnership Program is a Polish-Swedish initiative under the EU Neighbourhood Policy aimed at improving EU relations with six former Soviet countries Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine and Armenia. The programme envisages the allocation of 600 million euro to these countries until 2013 to strengthen state institutions, control borders and help small companies.