Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Likely to be Settled: Russian FM
Azerbaijan, Baku, 7 October / Trend corr. N.Abdullayeva/ Russian Foreign Minister believes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may be settled.
"Two or three issues on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remain unsolved. They will be coordinated at the next meetings between Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents," Russian FM Sergei Lavrov said to the Russian Newspaper.
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.
According to Lavrov, the meetings are likely to take place after the upcoming presidential elections in Azerbaijan. "The Lachin passage is the most important issue. As one of the three intermediaries, we feel settlement is quite real," he said.
Certainly, it is Armenia and Azerbaijan to settle the conflict within the direct agreements. But intermediaries, Russia, United States and France, which are well aware of all minutest details and the sensitivity of the process, see opportunities to settle the conflict, said FM.
According to Lavrov, even before the Caucasus crisis there had been a good chance to promote the Nagorno-Karabakh settling via direct meetings between Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents through mediators. A substantial document, describing almost all principles and mechanisms of settlement, was devised.
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