Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 11 / Trend M. Aliyev /
The Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents will meet in Europe by late November, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told media today.
"According to my information, the presidents will meet in a European city. Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan have agreed to meet," Mammadyarov said.
Afterward, OSCE foreign ministers will meet in Athens Dec. 1-2 to discuss the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
He added that the sides have failed to achieve new proposals to solve the conflict.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost all of Nagorno-Karabakh except for Shusha and Khojali in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian armed forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and seven districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. -- are currently holding peace negotiations.
"We continue discussing principles that have been considered at the talks for the last five years," Mammadyarov said.
He noted that the talks on Nagorno-Karabakh are a step-by-step process envisaging first the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani occupied territories and the further restoration of communications in the region.
"Then, the IDPs must return to these territories," Mammadyarov said. "Peace and stability must be created. The economic situation must improve. Afterward, it will be possible to determine Nagorno-Karabakh's status."
The Azerbaijani side repeatedly stated that Armenians and Azerbaijanis living together will be able to determine Nagorno-Karabakh's status in the future. But this status can be determined only by honoring the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, the minister said.
Mammadyarov said there are many such examples. The Tatars and Bashkirs determined their status within the territorial integrity of Russia and the Hungarians in Slovakia, the minister said.
"I do not believe that we can reach any final decision now. We cannot speak about any other issues before implementing the first stage, which includes withdrawing Armenian troops from the occupied territories," Mammadyarov said.
He said the Armenians want to discuss myriad issues before the withdrawal of their troops.