Baku, Azerbaijan, July 9
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry does not support changes in the composition of the OSCE Minsk Group, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Araz Azimov told reporters on July 9.
He said the OSCE Minsk Group brings together the most important players in the international community, adding that the existence of the OSCE Minsk Group is envisaged by the UN Security Council resolutions adopted in 1993.
"These resolutions are the foundation of our stance," the deputy minister said. "The resolutions as a whole must retain their significance, and they should be executed. Any change in the OSCE Minsk Group's composition can harm the resolutions."
He noted that within the OSCE Minsk Group format, both Azerbaijanis and Armenians, not participating in the decision-making process, can convey their stance to the world community not at the state level, but as interested parties.
"Therefore, the OSCE Minsk Group format corresponds to our interests and stance," he said.
Commenting on a possible meeting of presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Azimov said this proposal was put forward by the French president.
Azimov added that Azerbaijan, which does not depend on specific political situation, can agree with such an initiative depending on the topics under discussion.
He also noted that participating in such a meeting just for a protocol does not correspond to the position of Azerbaijan.
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.