Azerbaijani FM delivers response to Russian President's proposals on Nagorno-Karabakh (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 18 / Trend /
During his visit to Moscow Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov delivered a response to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposal on Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by "Russia 24" TV channel as saying.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposals and a message on Nagorno-Karabakh to the Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan on July 8.
"Russia helps the countries look for solutions within the OSCE, the U.S., and France," Lavrov said during a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister thinks that not everything depends on Azerbaijan in the negotiations process.
"We have to wait for Armenia's response to the same proposals", Mammadyarov said. "But we think that there is progress in the negotiations. We are moving gradually to the point where everyone will understand that the current situation does not help anyone, including our neighbors."
Mammadyarov said that stability is important for the region, especially for Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister said that the meeting in Kazan was a step forward, given the specific issues that were discussed. One can sense rapprochement.
"In general, we think that we must continue discussing the themes that have not yet been agreed upon", Mammadyarov said. "We must discuss the legal agreement - a peace treaty. The time has come! The peace treaty will be a strong signal on reaching a final stage of negotiations."
Lavrov said that Russia will assess the Azerbaijani President's response to the Russian president.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a priority for Russia", Lavrov said. "The project of the basic principles emerges from the parties' intentions to work on a peace agreement. Our efforts will continue in the context of our relations with both countries and as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen."
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.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.