Azerbaijan, Baku, 4 November /Тrend News corr. R.Novruzov/ PACE President congratulated Azerbaijan and Armenia on a new step to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by political means.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenia's Serzh Sargsyan and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev signed a declaration at the end of their meeting in Mein Dorf castle near Moscow on 2 November.
"The beginning of this dialogue is a new hope for the entire region in terms of stability," said PACE President Lluís Maria de Puig.
According to Puig, PACE is always ready to render assistance to Azerbaijan and Armenia in their efforts to achieve a peace solution of the conflict. "Settling of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is closest than ever," he said, adding that this step will entail more intensive diplomatic negotiations, will improve the trust between Azerbaijan and Armenia. "We have been working over the peace settling of the conflict for a rather long period and I am sure the solution is nearing," he said.
Guided by the international principles PACE has been working to achieve a peace settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict over last 15 years, since Azerbaijan and Armenia joined the Council of Europe.
"Presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan who in detail discussed current state and prospective of the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by political means, continuing direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia through Russia, U.S. and France's mediation as co-chairmen of OSCE Minsk Group in a constructive atmosphere, declared that they would contribute to normalizing the situation in the South Caucasus and ensure establishment of stability and security in the region by the settling the conflict by political means," says the declaration signed at the end of trilateral meeting.
The declaration calls for the settlement of the conflict in line with the principles and norms of international law and decisions and documents adopted in this respect which will create favourable conditions for economic development and comprehensive cooperation in the region.
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.
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