Russian FM: Azerbaijan, Armenia stress need to move away from extreme positions
The Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents have today acknowledged the need at a trilateral meeting with the Russian president in Sochi to refrain from extreme positions on Nagorno Karabakh, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"The parties have fixed a common understanding that it is necessary to move away from maximalist positions to gain further progress which is evident," Lavrov told media as a result of the meeting, RIA Novosti reported. "This was stressed by Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents with the support of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev."
The minister said the whole complex of issues that remain uncoordinated in the project of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement's basic principles was discussed during a meeting between Aliyev, Medvedev and Sargsyan. The presidents exchanged views on specific complex issues. A conclusion was made that it is necessary to continue working.
"The participants expressed their willingness to accelerate the work on general principles and then to proceed on this basis to the development of a legally binding peace agreement," the Russian foreign minister 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 per cent 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.