Azerbaijan, Baku, 11 January /corr Trend I.Alizade / The next meeting of the PACE Ad Hoc Committee on Nagorno-Karabakh will take place at the end of January in Strasburg. "The meeting is planned to focus on the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh and the visit of Ad Hoc Committee's members to the region," Samad Seyidov, the Head of the Azerbaijani delegation to the PACE, Chairman of Azerbaijan Parliament's Commission for International and Inter-Parliamentary Relations, reported to Trend on 11 January.
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 which ended the active hostilities. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
In 2005 the PACE passed Resolution No 1416 regarding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Resolution highlights the fact of occupation of the Azerbaijani lands by Armenia. The Resolution says that non-settlement of the conflict presents serious threats. The control on implementation of the PACE Resolution is made by the PACE Ad Hoc Committee for Nagorno-Karabakh. The members of the Committee headed by British parliamentarian Lord Russell Johnston are expected to visit the region.
According to Seyidov, Johnston is expected to visit Azerbaijan on 25 February. " Azerbaijan does not oppose the visit of the Committee members to Azerbaijan. If the members of the Committee are willing to visit Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan does not protest against it, but provided that they will go to Nagorno-Karabakh via the Azerbaijan territory because Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan. The representatives of the international organizations visited Abkhazia and South Osetia via the Georgian territory of and Pridnestrov via the Moldovian territory of. Why should Nagorno-Karabakh be excluded?" Seyidov said.
According to him, Azerbaijan is prepared to create the conditions for the Committee's members to visit Nagorno-Karabakh.