Russia, Moscow, 2 August / Trend corr. R.Agayev / The Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations to regulate the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are based on the long-term efforts of both sides rather than on the proposals made by the mediators in Madrid, Edward Nalbandyan, Armenian Foreign Minister, said.
"The matter does not concern the Madrid proposals. If the matter concerned Madrid proposals we would not meet today," Nalbandyan said in the briefing answering to the questions of Trend and commenting the recent meeting with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
The proposals made by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Madrid in November 2007, lay on the negotiations table. The Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents proposed both foreign ministers to continue discussions within the framework of the proposals. "These proposals are the results of long-term efforts through co-chairs' assistance. We have been working over these proposals," the Armenian Minister said.
The Madrid proposals, according to Mammadyarov, mean a complex of issues gathered in Prague several years ago. As a result of the Prague process we came to a conclusion to solve the issues stage by stage.
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.