Baku, Azerbaijan, April 29
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
The unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict creates great problems for Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's Deputy Head and Director of Administration's Foreign Relations Department, Novruz Mammadov said at a panel of the II Global Shared Societies Forum in Baku on April 29.
"Azerbaijan is closely cooperating with the Western countries regarding the development of democracy and human rights, energy, and fight against terrorism," he added.
"The internal stability is fully ensured in Azerbaijan," he said. "But one issue, namely, the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, remains unresolved because Azerbaijan supports peaceful settlement of the conflict."
He regretted that so far neither the OSCE Minsk Group, nor the leading world powers, in particular the EU, have demonstrated a fair position.
Mammadov said the EU offers Azerbaijan to sign an association agreement. The agreement does not indicate the issue regarding the country's territorial integrity. The EU has been for 15 years recognizing Azerbaijan's territorial integrity on paper, however, in recent years it does not want to accept this.
"How we are supposed to understand this? These questions make us seriously think it over," Mammadov said.
He said that along with other issues, for Azerbaijan it is important that fair principles in the international arena are in practice, not just in words.
Mammadov said the heads of two large states, including the U.S. President Barack Obama, made speeches in March with regard to the Ukrainian crisis.
He said that within an hour the U.S. president has regularly touched upon the questions of international law, its protection and violation.
"But the phrase 'this issue should be settled within international law' is not used with regard to Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said. "Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has remained unresolved throughout a long period, because the West and Europe show no particular position on this issue."
Mammadov however believes that this will happen in the future.
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.
translated by N.H. and E.A.
edited by S.I.