Azerbaijan, Baku, June 18 / Trend , E. Tariverdiyeva/
There has been real progress in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict recently, Reuters quoted EU special representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby as saying.
""It is clear that if you look at the negotiating process, it is intensifying," he said. ""We had in a month two meetings and there will be another relatively soon between the presidents [of Azerbaijan and Armenia]".
Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan met in St. Petersburg for the fifth time. The previous meeting was held in Prague on June 7. The first meeting was held in St. Petersburg in June 2008 and second meeting in Moscow in late November 2008 and third was held in Zurich on Jan. 28, 2009.
Asked about the risk of conflict, Semneby said it would be foolish to neglect it but he felt both sides understood the enormous costs which would be involved in any large-scale military engagement.
"If anything, the Georgia war (last year with Russia), demonstrated the risks of military engagement, he added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.