Experience of Aland Islands can be applied to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (Exclusive)


The experience of the Aland Islands can be applied to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Member of Parliament of Azerbaijan Azay Guliyev said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

Guliyev noted that he took part in the seminar traditionally held in Leinsweiler after the annual session of the OSCE PA by the initiative of Germany and with the organizational support of the Parliamentary Assembly.

"The two-day seminar held on July 11 and 12 was attended by 20 delegates from 12 countries, the President and the Secretary General of the OSCE PA and the seven members of the Bureau. There were a lot of interesting presentations and discussions at the seminar. One of the important presentations for Azerbaijan was "Experience of the Aland Islands in the settlement of the conflict". We were told how the parliamentarians of Sweden and Finland peacefully resolved the issue of the Aland Islands, which became a big conflict between the two countries 100 years ago. Then a referendum was held on the islands, and 95 percent of the population that spoke Swedish, voted for the annexation of the islands to Sweden. In turn, Finland, having questioned the legitimacy of the vote, complained to the League of Nations, and after the intervention of the League, the Aland Islands were granted high autonomy status within Finland, which was eventually accepted by Sweden. Thanks to the wisdom and foresight of the governments and peoples of the two states, the conflict was resolved peacefully. To date, both sides are fulfilling the agreement and are very satisfied," Guliyev said.

The Vice-President of the OSCE PA noted that given certain similarities, the experience of the Aland Islands can be applied to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"I shared this opinion with the participants, which included representatives of Armenia, and offered to dedicate the next seminar in Leinsweiler to this issue. The offer was generally accepted, and if there is no any interference from the outside, then we will organize this event in Leinsweiler next year ", Guliyev said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.