Foreign ministry: Armenian troops in occupied Azerbaijani territories biggest obstacle to settlement

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 6 June 2013 12:55 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 6 / Trend /

The deployment of Armenian troops in the occupied Azerbaijani territories remains the biggest obstacle to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said in an interview on the Kuresel programme on Turkish channel '24', today.

"Today the world community and especially co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group insist the status quo must be changed," he said. "There is no country or international organisation in the world that would not support Azerbaijan's position in this conflict. However, everything remains on paper."

"It is encouraging that Armenia has expressed willingness to reach a conflict settlement on the basis of co-chairmen's proposals," he added.

"If Armenia actually takes all six principles voiced by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen and formed on the basis of the updated Madrid principles, this will give an opportunity to begin working on a comprehensive peace agreement," he said.

"Six points proposed by the OSCE Minsk Group, are as follows: returning the occupied territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan; providing Nagorno-Karabakh with an interim status and ensuring the guarantees of security and self-determination; ensuring the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return home; opening the corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh; determining the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh in the future on the basis of a legally binding will and international security guarantees including peacekeeping operations," he said.

Abdullayev added that Azerbaijan accepts all six principles as a basis for holding the negotiations.

"The Minsk Group must be more serious about its mission and exert pressure on Armenia," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's last statement after a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Washington points to the fact that the U.S. is seriously interested in resolving the conflict and promoting peace and security in the region.

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.