Lithuania, Vilnius, Dec. 6 / Trend, special correspondent V.Verveckaite /
There is a proposal of the Russian side to continue negotiations on the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said Tuesday in Vilnius, ELTA correspondent reports specially for Trend.
"Russia has initiated since December 2009 to continue talks in a trilateral format on the level of the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia. Rather intensive consultations lasted for two years. Unfortunately, the last meeting in Kazan did not end with the result that everyone expected - a breakthrough in negotiations and decision to withdraw Armenian troops from occupied territories in return for a gradual solution to the conflict," said Mammadyarov.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister is participating in OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Vilnius.
According to Mammadyarov, though the issue has not got its final decision, in the statements of Foreign Ministers of OSCE member countries many mentioned the need to achieve a breakthrough in negotiations and the statement indicates that the status quo in the conflict is unacceptable.
At a meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in Vilnius, the heads of delegations of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French Minister for European Affairs Jean Leonetti, and also the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian reiterated in a joint statement the importance of achieving a peaceful settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Commenting on the results of the meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers in terms of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mammadyarov said that it would be possible to call it a success when a breakthrough is achieved in the negotiations.
"If we say that we live in Eurasia, where democracy, human rights and the rule of law are flourishing, it is difficult to justify the occupation of territories by Armenia," Mammadyarov said.
According to Mammadyarov, the parties have negotiated most intensively for the past seven years, because the so-called Prague process started, and in this context, it led to more specific results that are called Madrid principles. Their last version was presented to the co-chairs - the United States, France and Russia - within the OSCE ministerial meeting in Athens in 2009.
"In essence, these principles are the result of those negotiations, which began in 2004. They are like the base for identifying the parameters of a peace agreement," said Mammadyarov.
According to Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan proposes to move to the next step and begin work on the main peace agreement. "The conflict itself is very versatile, very complex; there are very serious issues on confidence building measures. There is a very important military factor, armed clashes, it is necessary to withdraw troops and restore ruined lands, to return displaced persons, to solve the huge financial problems. So, realizing that this is a rather complicated process, we believe that we should not get stuck on principles, and should already have started to work on a large agreement. It's the cornerstone of what we are now discussing with the co-chairs," the Azerbaijani FM underscored.
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.