Azerbaijan, Baku, 1 August / Trend corr. I.Alizade/ The European Union positively estimate continuation of negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia on settling of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and support them. "We are glad to see the negotiations going on after a break," EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby said at a press conference on 1 August dedicated to the results of his visit to Azerbaijan.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakh's seven surrounding regions. 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 U.S.) are currently holding peaceful, but fruitless negotiations.
For peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1992 about 10 OSCE countries established Minsk Group. Since 1997, Minks Group includes co-chairmen from three countries - USA, Russia, France.
Semneby said he supports operation of the OSCE Minsk Group.
Special Representative said the sides try to achieve an agreement enabling continuation of negotiations and relevant steps. "Possibly, the agreement will not settle the conflict completely but will enable a step forward," said Semneby.
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