March 28
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Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry called the OSCE mission to assess the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border a "private visit."

Baku says the OSCE mission, which will visit Armenia on October 21-27, "does not have an OSCE mandate and cannot be linked to this international organization."

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry claims that the issue of sending the mission "has never been discussed by any of the OSCE bodies making collective decisions and, as a consequence, no decision has been made." "Thus, any group called 'OSCE Needs Assessment Mission to Armenia' does not have an OSCE mandate, cannot be linked in any way to the OSCE, and none of its findings or reports will be accepted as an OSCE document."

In this connection, Baku considers the mission "a private visit by a group of representatives of several states and any outcome of such a visit will be assessed in this way".

Moreover, sending such a group to Armenia "raises serious questions".

"Such an ill-considered unilateral action by the OSCE Chairmanship and Secretariat runs counter to the basic principles of any responsible and credible mediation and trust, which require, among others, the consent of the parties, the impartiality of mediators and the observance of states' obligations arising from international law," the agency noted.

As it was previously reported the OSCE will send a Needs Assessment Mission to Armenia on October 21-27 at Armenia's invitation. The purpose of the mission is to assess the situation in some borderline regions with Azerbaijan in accordance with the OSCE mandate and experience and within its comprehensive concept of security.

A technical team, consisting of international experts and representatives of the OSCE secretariat, will visit areas along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

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