Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 29 / Trend S.Agayeva /
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry regarded Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's recent statements about character of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as 'gratifying and at the same time strange'.
"It is gratifying and at the same time strange to hear such statements by a person, who has attempted to convince all that "there is no Christian to the east of us [Armenians]" and that "the Armenians are allegedly ancient Christian nation in the world", Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's spokesman Elman Abdullayev told Trend on Tuesday.
He was commenting on the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan's statement that "the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not religious in nature".
According to the Armenian media reports, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Monday at the CIS Inter-religious Council Presidium meeting that the Karabakh conflict is not religious in nature and one cannot allow religious of the two countries - Christianity and Islam opposed each other.
"One can feel evolution of Mr. Sargsyan's thinking. However, even without his statements, it is obvious that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not religious in nature, and it is clear that this conflict is based on Armenia's territorial claims against Azerbaijan," Abdullayev said.
"It is interesting that Sargsyan attempts to look constructive and tolerant, despite the fact that over these years Armenia has destroyed Muslim religious and cultural monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani territories and current Armenia's territories which belonged to the Azerbaijanis," Abdullayev 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.