Azerbaijan does not Currently Expect Large-Scale Changes in Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Settlement: Deputy Foreign Minister(video)

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 19 September 2007 14:39 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend S.Agayeva / Under the current situation Azerbaijan does not expect large-scale changes in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, said the Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Araz Azimov, commenting on the results of the recent visit of the OSCE Minsk Group to Azerbaijan.

"I do not believe there will be any progresses in the conflict settlement from the current government of Armenia," he said.

He said that it would be unrealistic to expect a change in the situation until the 2008 presidential elections in Armenia. Azimov called it 'inevitable' to connect the heads of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh to the negotiations. However, according to him, it may take place due to discussions on the joint existence of the two communities in Nagorno-Karabakh. "Raising and politicize this question before time serves only the interests of separate political forces," Azimov said.

The Deputy Minister once again confirmed the position of Baku on a peaceful settlement saying that Azerbaijan is ready to support the efforts of the mediators of the Minsk Group and intends to continue the settlement process under the Prague process. "It would be inaccurate to lose the results achieved under the Prague process," he said.

The Deputy Minister said that during the meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on18 September; they failed to reach an agreement on the next talks at any level. He said that currently it is untimely to speak of the next meeting of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time active hostilities ended. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.