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Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister to Meet with OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-chairs

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 15 March 2008 13:42 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister to Meet with OSCE Minsk Group’s Co-chairs

Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 March / Trend corr S. Agayeva/ On 15 March, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov will meet with the OSCE Minsk Group's Co-chairs to discuss holding of the next meeting between Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia's newly elected President Serzh Sargsyan, the Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said on 15 March.

Sargsyan is ready to meet with President Aliyev during the NATO summit to be held in Bucharest on 2-4 April, Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan said in Yerevan on 14 March.

"Azerbaijan's President does not oppose meeting with Serzh Sargsyan. If the Co-chairs propose the meeting and the Azerbaijani President participates in the NATO summit, he may consider the proposal," the Head of the International Relations Department at the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Novruz Mamadov told Trend on 14 March.

The meeting will take place in a European city, probably in Paris, 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.

The recent meeting between the acting Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev took place in St-Petersburg in July 2007. Kocharyan's presidential office expires on 9 April, after which Sargsyan, who won the elections of 19 February, will take the position.

On 15 March, Mammadyarov will return from Dakar, where he took part in the OIC summit.

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