Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 10
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Sweden offers to convene an enlarged meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group for settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, says Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.
Wallström made the remarks in Baku Feb. 10 during a joint press conference with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
"Sweden can contribute to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," she added.
Wallström also said that during a meeting in Baku, she and Mammadyarov discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement and the ways to de-escalate tension in the conflict region.
Mammadyarov, for his part, said that humanitarian issues were discussed as well at the meeting.
"Sweden has expressed an interest in the development of relations in this area," he said.
"Wallström offered to organize a meeting of women of Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Azerbaijani side supported her offer," added Mammadyarov.
During the press conference, Wallström also said that in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, Sweden adheres to the need for a political settlement through negotiations via the OSCE Minsk Group.
"We appreciate open negotiations," she said. "The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is important for Azerbaijan. I have asked my Azerbaijani counterpart about the role that can be played by Sweden for the conflict settlement."
"We are ready to take part in this issue," added Wallström. "We must adhere to the inviolability of borders and self-determination of nations."
"If there is a need for a meeting in a broader format for the conflict settlement, we, as an OSCE Minsk Group member, are willing to participate in it," she added.
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 US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.