Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 22 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents expressed their willingness to continue the process of peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at a meeting between the two presidents and the OSCE Minsk Group, a group's statement said.
On Jan. 21, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and a day before they met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan.
An updated version of the Madrid Document of 2007, containing the co-chairs' latest articulation of the basic principles on resolving the conflict was submitted to Sargsyan. In December 2009, this updated version was submitted to the Azerbaijani president.
The Minsk Group's proposals, officially submitted to the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan at the Madrid OSCE summit in November 2007 are the basis of today's talks. These proposals, known as the "basic principles" are the result of several meetings between the countries' foreign ministers.
The proposals envisage the settlement of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, the gradual withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories, return of displaced people to their homes and the resumption of trade and communications.
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 seven 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.