Azerbaijan, Baku, 8 February / Trend corr. I.Alizadeh / The Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) is to hold a meeting on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with participation of Azerbaijani and Armenian MPs in Strasburg in 2008. "We need an agreement from both sides to implement the meeting," Rassel Johnston, PACE Subcommittee chairman on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, stated during his visit to Azerbaijan.
According to Johnston, the aim of the visit is to find a solution and a possible dialogue between the conflicting countries. The chairman of the Subcommittee noted that he would hold a meeting with the President Ilham Aliyev, as well as Oktai Asadov, the Speaker, as well as representatives of the political parties.
"The Council of Europe does not engage in the direct settlement of the conflict. Our goal is to create favourable conditions to settle the conflict," he said.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988, due to the Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, the Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven neighbouring 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 the peaceful negotiations.
In January 2005, PACE passed Resolution 1416 on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The resolution stated that Armenia had occupied the territory of Azerbaijan and made proposals to regulate the conflict. PACE established the Subcommittee to control the implementation of the document.
Johnston will meet with the Azerbaijani Parliament speaker, leaders of the permanent commissions and representatives of parties represented in the Parliament, as well as with the President Ilham Aliyev.
The visit will conclude on 8 February.