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Deputy minister: Azerbaijan ready to continue efforts to resolve conflict

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 13 October 2011 16:42
The primary goal in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is to normalize ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on principles of international law, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said today.
Deputy minister: Azerbaijan ready to continue efforts to resolve conflict

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.13 / Trend, S. Agayeva /

The primary goal in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is to normalize ties between Armenia and Azerbaijan based on principles of international law, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said today.

He added that Azerbaijan is ready to continue its political efforts to resolve the conflict.

"The question of the lack of results from the negotiation process is valid, as it has been carried out and is being carried out within the Minsk Group with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev," Azimov said.

Asimov stressed with regret that the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian presidents' Kazan meeting yielded no results, and afterward there was a sense of a pause. However, he added, Sochi hosted Aliyev and Medvedev in August, and "we hope that following this meeting Russia will modify its actions and together with two other co-chairs of the Minsk Group will try to intensify the process."

"Unfortunately, we hear more and more statements of an offensive nature by the Armenian president, which seem to be speculative. It refers to his recent statement in New York about the need to recognize independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. We also face Armenia's intensified efforts to procure weapons of an offensive nature," Azimov said.

"I think they deliberately try to provoke a crisis, relying on Russian peacekeepers, such as what happened in August 2008 in Georgia. The development of such a crisis is easy to predict and this can lead to extremely negative consequences," Azimov said.

He said Azerbaijan is not interested in any crisis.

"We are interested in quiet, normal arrangements that would ensure the integrity and inviolability of our territory, and the return of IDPs," he said.

Commenting on the change in the format of negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azimov said if the question was about some other conflict, it would be possible to discuss such a possibility.

"In this case we have the OSCE Minsk Group, working based on 1975 Helsinki Act. The U.S., France and Russia are members of the Minsk Group, and they have duties of co-chairs. On the other hand, these countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council. If not the Minsk Group, there is the Security Council, I do not see much difference," Azimov 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 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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