OSCE Statement Fails to Call-Out Azerbaijani Aggression


VIENNA, Austria (A.W.)—The Co-Chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group released a statement on Jan. 10, which—once again—failed to label Azerbaijan as the aggressor following the infiltration attempt that took place at the Armenian border near Tavush on Dec. 29.

(L to R) Armenian servicemen Edgar Narayan, Erik Abovyan, and Shavarsh Melikyan died int he Dec. 29 attack.

“Violations of the ceasefire are unacceptable and are contrary to the acknowledged commitments of the Parties, who bear full responsibility, not to use force,” said the statement, which failed to blame either side for the ceasefire violations.

The Co-Chairs urged the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia to abide by the agreements reached during the summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg and to also return any human remains left on opposing territory, referring to the body of the Azerbaijani servicemen who was shot at an Armenian border post.

Responding to the statement, Armenian Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Nalbandian agreed that that ceasefire violations are unacceptable and that a mechanism for ceasefire violation investigations must be implemented.

“On numerous occasions the Co-Chair countries have pointed to the side which rejects the creation of such mechanism, therefore that side bears full responsibility for the incidents and ceasefire violations. Such mechanism will give an opportunity to cease what the Co-Chairs refer to as mutual accusations. Although when the Azerbaijani saboteur is neutralized in the Armenian trenches, it is more than evident even without the mechanism, which side initiates the attack,” Nalbandian said, adding “We hope that the Co-Chairs will be persistent in promptly and strongly reacting to any use of force or threat of force in the conflict zone, especially, when the ceasefire violations result in human losses.”

On Dec. 29, shortly after Azerbaijan’s infiltration attempt, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) called upon the Minsk Group Co-Chairs as well as the United States State Department and to condemn the attack. “Ilham’s Aliyev’s fatal cross-border attack today into Armenia follows a deeply troubling, yet clearly predictable multi-year pattern of Azerbaijani aggression around the Christmas and New Year holidays. We have called upon our State Department and OSCE Minsk Group partners to immediately, forcefully and explicitly condemn Baku’s reckless belligerence,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA, on the day of the attack.

Read the OSCE Minsk Group’s Jan. 10 statement in its entirety below.

Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of a Dec. 29, 2016, attempted incursion on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border resulting in casualties. Armenian Armed Forces are still holding the body of an Azerbaijan serviceman killed in the fighting.

Violations of the ceasefire are unacceptable and are contrary to the acknowledged commitments of the Parties, who bear full responsibility, not to use force. The Co-Chairs urge the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to strictly observe the agreements reached during summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg in 2016, including obligations to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism. The Co-Chairs also urge the return, without delay, of human remains, in accord with the agreements of the Astrakhan Summit of 2010, bearing in mind the exclusively humanitarian nature of this issue. We call upon the Parties to cease mutual accusations and undertake all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground.

The Co-Chairs extend their condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and to all Armenians and Azerbaijanis for whom hopes for the New Year have been darkened with the grief of senseless loss.






  1. And yet, Armenia and Karabagh continue to sit down with the OSCE Minsk cochairs even though these same cochairs have proven themselves to be untruthful about who is really committing aggression, namely the Azeris.
    Aliyev breaks the ceasefire, orders the killing of soldiers and even Armenian civilians, and yet Serge Sargsyan continues to talk with him.
    How crazy is this?

  2. This is absurd: Usually, Azerbaijan directs its aggression against Armenia’s Karabakh Stronghold, but this time Azerbaijan’s military units attempted to infiltrate the territory of Armenia, itself. If this isn’t enough to elicit some sincere evaluation from the OSCE, then its usefulness is severely compromised. The OSCE’s ludicrous judgment standards have emboldened Azerbaijan to continue its ceasefire violations, the Armenian Diaspora should find a way to condemn it for neglecting its ethical duty.

    Is there a way to contact the OSCE, and register complaints about their conduct?

  3. Dear Laurence:
    The problem also lies the CTSO, which is the Russia-led organization.
    The CTSO recently blamed the Azeris for aggression, but usually it does not.
    The answer lies with Armenia and Karabagh. The OSCE and CTSO won’t do much of anything until Armenians put their foot down.
    One way is to attack the gas and oil pipelines that are just north of Karabagh. These are owned by Azerbaijan and Western countries, and they supply Turkey, Israel, and Europe.

  4. It seems that the USA position has always been “lands returned for future referendum w/security guarantees”, the usual ridiculous nonstarter of any final Karabakh settlement. The Armenians need to make it clear to the next Trump administration that this approach isn’t realistic and needs to be ignored. And start pushing the idea of a free and independent Astsakh as first order, then the negotiations of a final border as a path for all future negotiations. Also it seems ironic that the Azeri’s created a petition to the white house now, with only a few days left in Obama’s presidency, urging the Madrid principal implantation. And that Hoagland, a known genocide denier, is now the temporary US rep to the Karabakh peace talks after being denied the ambassadorship from a past Senate hold for that denial. Don trump recently announced a purge of all ambassadors on his first day of office. Lets see if Hoagland stays.

    Regardless, the Armenians need to always cooperate with the OSCE, as a lasting peace is a must and needs to be pursued, but understand that the OSCE is impotent or unwilling to control Azerbaijan and that the Armenian Army is the only true guarantee of Armenia’s security. And further, Armenia’s answer as a whole, lies in our UNITY: ONE ARMENIA, Artsakh & Diaspora…

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