Azerbaijani FM: OSCE summit may be turning point in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (UPDATE)
Editor's Note: minister's words added after the first paragraph
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said today that the OSCE summit in Astana may be a turning point in the process of finding a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He made the statement to journalists in Istanbul, the Cihan news agency reported.
Mammadyarov said that he plans to meet with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian soon.
Foreign Ministers were instructed to continue the negotiation process during the last tripartite meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia in Astrakhan. "The meeting may be held soon," the minister said. Foreign Ministers will discuss the ways of preparing for the summit in Astana, he added.
Mammadyarov said that the "road map" on resolving the conflict has been prepared to restore peace and stability in the Caucasus.
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 OSCE summit will be held in Astana Dec. 1-2.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov is in Turkey on a working visit.
Mammadyarov participates in the Fourth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan.