Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend E.Huseynov / The next meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers to discuss a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict might be held in Madrid late this November. "The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs proposed holding the meeting in Madrid at the end of November as part of a meeting of the OSCE. Presently, I am waiting for news from the co-chairs on further plans," said Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, in an interview with Trend.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus region began in 1988 as a result of Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. 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 the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
The minister said he was waiting for a reply from the co-chairs after their most recent tour of Azerbaijan. "They left Azerbaijan for Armenia, intending to continue the tour of diplomacy. However, no news is forthcoming about the co-chairs' activities and it seems their talks in Yerevan were unsuccessful," the minister said.
With respect to a statement by Matthew Bryza, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, on the possibility of achieving an agreement between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan before the presidential elections in Armenia on May 2008, the minister said that that this is a hypothetical issue and it is difficult to comment on it. There is willingness on our side. If we can reach an agreement and the Armenian side has a political will, of course, it can be signed.