Apparently, imposing sanctions against Azerbaijan remains the only effective option to overcome its tough posture, especially when OSCE Chairmanship, participating States, Secretariat support activities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

OSCE Office in Yerevan, Armenia Photo: OSCE Office in Yerevan, Armenia

May 6, 2017, Yerevan—Throughout last months the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA) has followed thoroughly and with great concern the developments around the OSCE Office in Yerevan and its mandate.

At the Permanent Council meeting of April 4 the Representative of the OSCE Austrian Chairmanship delivered a statement that despite exerted efforts, it has not been possible to reach a consensus on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

According to official explanations by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, an OSCE member state—Azerbaijan, has singlehandedly blocked the decision on the continuation of activities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan through a veto, thus, resulting in closure of the only full-fledged representation of that organization in the region.   

We deeply realize all implications that the suspension of the activity of OSCE Office in Baku had in terms of both democracy and international commitments, assumed by that country particularly on peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes. The April four-day war in 2016 generally demonstrated Azerbaijan’s refusal to solve disputes and conflicts peacefully and to refrain from force or threat of force: obligations that the country assumed while involving in all international organizations—UNO, OSCE and CoE.

Currently we consider the unfolded situation around the Yerevan Office mandate more than bothering, as its closure may have more irreversible implications both for the security of our region and entire Europe. By that step, Azerbaijan not only attempts to blackmail the international community to resolve the conflict in its preferred way, but also weakens the influence of international organizations in the region and in transformation, management and settlement of the conflict and war-torn societies, as well as eliminates the toolset designed by respective programs.

We call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia and the authorities to exert more diplomatic and other efforts in acknowledging the international community and organizations about consequences of the closure for international and regional security, stable and peaceful development.

We also apply to the authorities of OSCE Austrian Chairmanship and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undertake decisive steps to de-blockade the OSCE decision, supported by all member states, except one—Azerbaijan, and to reach a speedy solution to the issue.

Apparently, imposing sanctions against Azerbaijan remains the only effective option to overcome its tough posture, especially when OSCE Chairmanship, participating States, Secretariat support activities of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

We hereby apply to all OSCE member states, their civil society actors, anticipating a proper assessment of the situation and efforts for speedy solution on the extension of the mandate of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

The Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA)