Baku, Azerbaijan, May 23
By Emin Aliyev - Trend:
Europe must pay more attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at a meeting of the PACE Standing Committee in Baku on May 23.
"Having such a large number of refugees and conflicts in the 21st century is unacceptable," he said.
Azerbaijani minister went on to note that the country faces double standards when it comes to implementation of the UN resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"Some UN resolutions literally get implemented almost on the same day of receiving, while the UN resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have not been executed for 20 years," Mammadyarov said.
The minister added that the negotiations with Armenia are underway, however, the conflict leads the region to nowhere and negatively affects it.
"The conflict settlement principles have already been determined," Mammadyarov added. "The UN Security Council has passed four relevant resolutions. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement must be based on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries."
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.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can not be considered frozen," he said. "There is a contact line of troops, the front line, where incidents occur every day."
"The Madrid principles are very realistic, but the main problem in the conflict is the presence of the Armenian armed forces on the territory of Azerbaijan," he said. "These principles envisage a package of measures, including the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from a territory of seven areas adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh, large-scale reconstruction work and other gradual actions on peace establishment in the region."
While commenting on Azerbaijan's presidency in PACE, the minister said that during this period Azerbaijan will hold several major international events.
"The country will host 18 international events in the next six months," he added. "We intend to demonstrate maximum transparency and openness, as European countries must try to understand each other, rather than argue."
Mammadyarov added that during its presidency in PACE, Azerbaijan will coordinate its activity with European partners.
edited by S.I.