Azerbaijan, Baku, May 21 / Trend S. Agayeva /
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry welcomes the adoption by the European Parliament May 20, 2010 of the Resolution on "The need for an EU Strategy for the South Caucasus" on the basis of the report of the Bulgarian member of the Parliament Mr. Evgeni Kirilov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
While strongly supporting the EU initiatives on the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership, the European Parliament calls for an increasingly active role of the EU to transform the South Caucasus into a region of sustainable peace, stability and prosperity with a view to enhancing the integration of these countries into the European policies.
The conflict situation in the region is unacceptable. The European Parliamentary MPs expressed concern about the increase in military spending in recent years and called for the withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan, a resolution said.
EU Strategy in the South Caucasus should be focused on three areas: conflict settlement, development of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, economic cooperation and social development, the resolution said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.