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Azerbaijani official: OSCE Co-chair countries should demand from Armenia fair solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (INTERVIEW)

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 2 February 2010 19:22 (UTC +04:00)
Trend News conducted an interview with the Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's International Relations Department Novruz Mammadov.
Azerbaijani official:  OSCE Co-chair countries should demand from Armenia fair solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijani official: OSCE Co-chair countries should demand from Armenia fair solution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (INTERVIEW)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 1 / Trend S.Agayeva /

Trend conducted an interview with the Head of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration's International Relations Department Novruz Mammadov.

Trend : How do you assess the outcome of the Sochi talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? Is there any progress in this process?

Mammadov: The Sochi talks have become one of the important milestones in the current stage of the negotiation process around solution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. For several years Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has been showing a strong will to make every possible effort to peacefully resolve the conflict through negotiations and important steps were taken in this direction.

Only in 2009, there were six meetings between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in various formats and, indeed, the attention of the international community and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries' leaders was focused on solution of this conflict. At the same time these are affected by other factors. Development of the processes in this direction allows us to hope for a successful solution to the conflict. Of course, the OSCE Minsk co-chairs play an important role in it.

Today, the superpowers' position is of great importance to establish world order, security and stability. Countries such as USA, Russia and France play important role in resolving this conflict. Their specific and just position may play an important role in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I think, the countries yet lack of such position in this direction and therefore we can not go on a serious step.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's participation in the Sochi meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders gave hope for a positive outcome of the negotiations. Although the expected progress was not reached, the process should be continued, and I regard that convergence is possible through the declared preamble and this fact encourages it.

My position is that the IMF, Russia, the U.S. and the EU should increase pressure on Armenia at the final stage (the current negotiations may be regarded as concluding). All possible measures must be used to achieve an equitable solution and co-chair countries should also increase pressure on Armenia to make progress.

Armenia periodically changes its position. Such behavior is unacceptable in diplomacy and politics.

Let me give two examples. Armenia signed protocols with Turkey with the participation of six countries' foreign ministers, but a few months later filed certain conditions to the signed documents through another structure.

In 2007- 2009, Armenia supported the Madrid principles, while we disagreed. Following some amendments to the document in the light of our proposals, we supported the Madrid principles. In turn, Yerevan spoke against them. In 2009, the Armenian president himself signed an agreement on these principles, together with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia, but again rejected them.

To prevent this kind of political speculation, the world public, co-chairman countries should exert adequate pressure on Armenia.

Q: How do you assess the activity of Russia in the negotiation process, and how Moscow's role could accelerate the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? What pressure can Russia exert on Armenia?

A: Today it is wrong to say that Russia has not definite pressure on Armenia, Russian President's participation to the last two meetings of heads of Azerbaijan and Armenia testifies this.

But I think that it is necessary to increase pressure on Armenia. If Russia wants long-term stability and security in the region, if wants to build relations with countries in a trustful base, it should exert more pressure. Here even the word "pressure" is inappropriate. It is necessary to demonstrate a fair position on the basis of international law and to demand Armenia to liberate the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. This is a violation of international law and it must be corrected.

Not only Russia, but also the United States and France, which play an important role in global processes, must participate in this process. I think that these three countries can make great efforts in this regard, thus taking a fair position.

Q: What are the uncoordinated elements of the preamble of the Madrid principles? How is Azerbaijan ready to make concessions on these points?

A: The Meiendorf agreement signed by the President of Azerbaijan pointed out that the solution to the conflict is possible only within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, through peaceful negotiations and without war. We accepted it, if there are any new proposals, we do not know about them, co-chairmen should establish a position and submit to us. Prolonging the time, Armenia impedes the solution. Yerevan has transformed this process into a political game. Armenia should be put before a fair and concrete position.

For more than 20 years, 750,000 Azerbaijani citizens from seven regions around Nagorno-Karabakh have been internally displaced persons, we are talking about the fate of these people. The occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be returned so that the IDPs return to their homes.

Q: When we can expect next talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement?

Q: All depends on specification of Armenia's positions. Our patience is not unlimited. During their next visit to the region co-chairs should identify Armenia's definitive position on settlement of the conflict and inform us.

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