Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 28 / Trend /
Azerbaijan stands for the liberation of its lands peacefully, but the country also reserves the right to liberate its occupied lands, Azerbaijani Minister of Defense, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov said at a meeting with EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Philippe Lefort today.
He was commenting on the current situation in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Defense Ministry told Trend.
While congratulating the Defense Minister with new appointment, Lefort wished him success in his future endeavors.
The Special Representative stressed that Azerbaijan is one of EU important partners.
The situation in the region and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were discussed during the meeting. The defense minister said that the goals set by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, are unchanged. The main challenge is a strong country and an army.
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 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.