Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 16 / Trend E. Mehdiyev /
The ruling New Azerbaijan Party hopes for Ukraine's active participation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement during its presidency in the OSCE.
"We hope for Ukraine's active participation in resolving the conflicts in the region during the OSCE presidency," deputy executive secretary of the ruling party, MP Mubariz Gurbanli said on the party's website today. "The Ukraine is Azerbaijan's strategic partner. Close relations have been established between the two countries within GUAM. Therefore, we hope Ukraine as OSCE chairman will conduct an active policy on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement."
Gurbanli stressed that although there have been OSCE attempts to resolve the conflict, the Minsk Group co-chairmen play a main role in this process.
He added that co-chairing countries do not impact on occupying Armenia.
"Azerbaijan at different levels including OSCE clarifies its stance on Armenian aggression and stresses Armenia's disinterest in the peaceful settlement of the conflict," he said. "At the same time we believe that the work of the Minsk Group is not satisfactory, as no progress is observed in the process of peaceful settlement of the conflict. Pressure must be exerted on Armenia to leave the occupied territories and to make progress in this process.
"Azerbaijan supports a rapid and fair settlement of the conflict in accordance with international legal standards. Azerbaijani society is dissatisfied with the unresolved conflict and lack of international community efforts to resolve the issue. We believe that Ukraine during the OSCE presidency will pay special attention to this problem and take action to promote a peaceful settlement of the conflict."
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 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.