Negotiations Process for Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict is One of Important Targets for OSCE: OSCE Chairman-in-Office

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 28 February 2008 20:28 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 28 February /corr. Trend K.Ramazanova / The progress in the negotiation process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement and prompt achievement of results, are one of the important targets of the OSCE, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva said in Baku on 28 February.

"There is comprehensive support to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement," he said.

Kanerva said that the international community trusts the Minsk Group and supports the settlement of the conflict within this framework. "I do not oppose the UNO, but I do not consider it necessary to replace the Minsk Group with the UNO," he said. According to him, the OSCE will continue supporting the process of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement within the OSCE Minsk Group. It is a priority for the OSCE.

"This conflict should be settled within the international laws and in a peaceful manner," Kanerva said.

With regards to the participation of the Nagorno-Karabakh communities in the negotiations process, he said this topic remains open. According to him, they may participate in the talks, but this is not the high time for it.

The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in 1988, due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven neighboring Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. 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 USA) are currently holding the peaceful negotiations.