KAZAKHSTAN'S OSCE CHAIRMANSHIP SHADED

Panorama.am
16:08 21/05/2010

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A number of resolutions were passed Wednesday and Thursday at the
37th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization
of the Islamic Conference(OIC), some of them including anti-Armenian
colorings. Particularly, one of the resolutions labels Armenia as
aggressor, according to Azerbaijan.

We find it necessary to state (especially Baku had better understand
this) that 'aggressor' is a legal term, a notion in the modern
international law which supposes illegal use of force by one state, in
contravention of the UN Charter, against another state's territorial
integrity and political independence. Aggression always assumes
initiative.

Can any of the OIC member states mention a date when Armenia
implemented aggression against another state? Of course, they can't.

Had such a thing occurred, the UN Security Council would have raised
the issue and would have adopted a corresponding resolution to be
followed by corresponding actions. Such a thing has never occurred. UN
Security Council has adopted 4 resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh and
in all 4 it called on Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh to take certain
actions.

That is to say, any document endorsed by the OIC does not practically
cost a penny. We can understand that Azerbaijani authorities and
official propaganda will use it for solving domestic conflicts (first
of all, in the context of the upcoming parliamentary elections). A
question arises here: why do the OIC member states, including a
number of influential states with internationally serious mission,
give in to Azerbaijan's blackmailing?

In non-official talks representatives of the Islamic states explain
that their passive stance over Turkey's and Azerbaijan's similar
projects is conditioned by the factor of the Islamic solidarity.

Note that this is not the first time and it does not come to be new at
all, as the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem is trying to use "the factor of
the Islamic solidarity" for its own interests. But if previously the
"factor" could not have an impact on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement,
today the situation has changed, namely, by the simple fact that
Kazakhstan is chairing the OSCE currently.

It's not a secret that the Minsk Group, conducting a mediating mission
over the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, has been established in the frames
of the OSCE and it is this very organization that actually makes
decisions on the conflict.

Since January, 2010, for the first time a post-Soviet state,
Kazakhstan, has been trusted the OSCE chairmanship. Prior to this,
as Kazakhstan's chairmanship was being considered, official Ankara
assured through diplomatic and non-formal ways that it will adopt
a balanced and neutral position over all the disputed issues,
including Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenian side took these affirmations
as a responsible stance (otherwise, only with Armenia being against
would be enough for non-approval of Kazakhstan chairmanship). Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbayev promised to contribute to the settlement
of the conflicts during Kazakhstan chairmanship, followed by FM Kanat
Saudabayev's regional visit, contacts with the sides and mediators.

However, after promising impartial, balanced and neutral stance,
Kazakhstan not only neglected the circumstance of being an OSCE chair,
but also its membership to the Collective Security Treaty Organization
(CSTO) and being Armenia's ally within the CSTO framework, and again
yielded to Azerbaijan's lie, veiled with "Islamic solidarity."

One could wonder whether Kazakhstan is intent to reaffirm its neutral
disposition and willingness to contribute to the Karabakh settlement.

And if yes, how? We tried to find the answers to these questions
at Kazakhstan's Embassy in Armenia. Our interlocutor-diplomat first
assured that he has no information on the voting and then expressed
doubt that "Kazakhstan might have remained abstinent." You should
agree that the answers cannot serve as confirmation of neutrality and
the efficiency of Kazakhstan's OSCE chairmanship could henceforth be
considered shady.

By the way, recently neighbor Iran had also offered mediation over
Nagorno-Karabakh. Iran is also OIC member and it also avoids opposing
the "Islamic solidarity."

It's beyond discussion that both Kazakhstan and Iran and the other
Islamic states like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, could oppose, of course.