Proposals by OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to be Reviewed by Deputy Minister’s Expert
Azerbaijan, Baku, / Trend. Corr. K.Ramazanova / The proposals made by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs to Azerbaijan should be reviewed on an expert level to find out if Azerbaijan is prepared to work on this document. Araz Azimov, Deputy Foreign Minister, said in talks with journalists on 10 December.
"The ideas expressed by the co-chairs are of their own opinions and should not be considered as a rule, even if someone urges that the document is in Azerbaijan's interests. It is necessary to consider them on a political level prior to their consideration by experts so that Azerbaijan can state its standpoint on the document," the Deputy Foreign Minister said.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs submitted ten written proposals on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict both to Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The document was presented in a meeting of Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Vardan Oskanian, Armenian Foreign Minister, US Ambassador Mathew Bryza, an OSCE MG Co-Chair, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister and Nicolas Bern, the US Assistant Secretary of State on international relations, in Madrid last Thursday.
Azimov said that Azerbaijan always constructively approached the negotiations. There are ready proposals within the framework of the Prague process, which aims to liberate the Azerbaijani territories and return them back to the control of Azerbaijan, as well as to carry out reconstruction work in this territory, repatriate Azerbaijanis to Nagorno-Karabakh, establish co-operation between the two communities, which in its turn can provide a chance to continue the political process. "The proposals need to be reviewed. The important issues in these proposals are still to be settled," Deputy Minister said.
Azerbaijan must not and cannot step back from its standpoint, as nothing will be achieved if Armenia starts playing political games, Deputy Minister said. "There is a unique opportunity to solve the problem through peaceful ways," Azimov said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to 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 the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.