CIS executive secretary: Russia will make every effort to settle Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict as co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, and as partner in CIS
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 9 /Trend, M.Aliyev /
CIS and Russia are interested in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and are making efforts in this regard, said CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev.
"CIS and Russia are interested in solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and we go step by step in the issue of rapprochement between the two countries," Lebedev told reporters in Baku.
"Recently, in Astrakhan, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan under the mediation of the President of the Russian Federation have agreed to exchange dead bodies of servicemen, and it almost became the first steps for rapprochement of positions. These are small steps, but at the same time, we are discussing the liberation of the occupied territories, creating a corridor between Azerbaijan and Nakhichivan, Karabakh and Armenia," he said.
Astrakhan hosted the trilateral meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia - Ilham Aliyev, Dmitry Medvedev and Serzh Sargsyan Oct.27. The parties have signed a declaration, which envisaged the return of prisoners of war and takes a humanitarian nature with the mediation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the OSCE Minsk Group.
Armenia transferred bodies of Azerbaijani servicemen Mubariz Ibrahimov and Farid Ahmadov to the Azerbaijani side on Saturday.
Earlier, Azerbaijan transferred to Armenia the body of Manvel Saribekyan, who earlier committed suicide, while Armenia liberated Azerbaijani citizen Eldar Tagiyev from captivity.
According to Lebedev, Armenia and Azerbaijan are brotherly countries for Russia.
According to him, everything possible is done for the rapprochement of these countries, because neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan will move to somewhere else. "It's their God-given land and they are doomed to live together. Therefore, Russia will make every effort for their rapprochement as a co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, and as their partner in the CIS, and as a neighboring country," said Lebedev.
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 7 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.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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