Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 23 / Trend M. Aliyev /
International experts consider Nagorno-Karabakh conflict the only obstacle for the development of the South Caucasus.
The South Caucasus has great potential for development. But the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an obstacle for its development, Fen Osler Hampson, Director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University, Canada, said during a symposium on international relations "South Caucasus in changing world".
He said that Azerbaijan considers itself as a bridge between Asia and Europe. It proves it in practice.
Armenia gets its main support from the diaspora. This is the wrong choice, which prevents the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said.
It is necessary to improve the negotiation process to reach agreement to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Oscar Pardo, expert at the University of Birmingham, said.
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 negotiations to resolve the dispute.
Armenia has failed to implement U.N. Security Council resolutions stipulating the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
The annual symposium "South Caucasus in changing world" is being held in Baku on Oct. 22-23. Over 150 foreign and local experts attended the symposium.
The main purpose of the meeting is to develop regional ties and cooperation.
The topics such as "Global challenges in the regional context," "Problems of regional security - conflict and post-conflict development", "The emerging economic trends in the South Caucasus - the development of information technology and energy" and "Foreign Policy in the Caucasus: strategies and choice" were discussed during the symposium.
It is planned to publish a book including papers delivered at the Symposium by participant-scholars. The publication will be distributed to the scientific and think tanks around the world.