France, Strasburg, 16 April / Trend corr. A.Maharramli / Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, believes that the sides of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh are close to reach to an agreement.
"I met with the Foreign Ministers of both the countries and held discussions with them. I felt that both the sides are close to the agreement. I think that the agreement will be reached in the near future," Davis stated in the press-conference in Strasburg on 16 April.
Secretary General expressed his regret due to delay in the peaceful solution of the conflict. "OSCE Minsk Group has been trying to settle the issue for a long period of time. We should say that nobody can force the sides to take variants of settlement on the issues proposed by Minsk Group. Minsk Group is just the mediator to find various ways out of the conflict," Davis stated. He added that he understands the critic of official Baku towards the long-term activity of Minsk Group.
Davis is sure that the residents of the region are interested in peaceful settlement of the conflict.
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.