Armenia Should Free Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan: Foreign Minister

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 2 October 2008 21:25 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 2 October /corr. TrendNews I.Alizade / Official Baku considers that in order to ensure durable peace and stability in South Caucasus, the territory of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia must be released from the occupation forces. їTo achieve peace and stability in the region, it is necessary to return the internally displaced persons to their native lands and restore the infrastructure of these territories,ї the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, said at the meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Norwegian Kingdom, Raymond Johansen, on 2 October, the Press Service of the Foreign Ministry said.

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 surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. 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 USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.

Mammadyarov said that the aggressive policy of Armenia inflicts losses to the development of entire region, and the settlement of the problem is possible only within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

With regards to the processes, which occurred in the South Caucasus region, Raymond highlighted the need to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and the return of IDPs to their native lands.

Johansen said that within his current visit, negotiations will be held with regards to the development of the bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Norway, especially expansion of co-operation in the sphere of information technologies and education, and as well as a meeting will be held in the Diplomatic Academy of the foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the level of the present relations between the two countries, in particular with the energy co-operation.

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