Azerbaijani-Russian relations are strategic (PHOTO)

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 18

By Saba Agayeva - Trend:

The relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are strategic, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at a press briefing after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on June 18.

"We have a good tradition to meet every year," he said. "Last year I was in Moscow. This year, minister Lavrov visited Azerbaijan."

"From an economic perspective, the trade turnover is growing," he said.

"We discussed the prospects of relations to intensify the cooperation," the minister added. "We also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

"In this context, the sides discussed the actions to be taken to break the deadlock in the settlement process," he added.

"Russian Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin will arrive by the end of the month, while Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin's visit will be earlier. The relations are being positively developed."

"The parties also positively discussed the regional cooperation issues and the situation in Iraq, the Middle East, Ukraine," Mammadyarov added.

Mammadyarov also commented on the meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the near future.

"There is French President Francois Hollande's proposal on the meeting of presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia," he added. "We are now waiting for France's response for organizing this meeting."

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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

edited by CN

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