Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 20
By Sabina Ahmedova - Trend:
France is enthusiastic about the meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, French ambassador to Azerbaijan, Pascal Monnier told journalists on Nov. 20.
"The heads of states meet to improve communication and mutual understanding, and we have a positive attitude about it," the ambassador said.
According to Monnier, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are preparing the next meeting.
"I believe that in this way, a new impetus has been given to the dialogue between the two countries on settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we support this. France, as a co-chair, feels responsible for the success of the meetings on the resolution of the conflict," Monnier noted.
France supports the relationship between conflicting parties, including at the level of civil society, the diplomat said. He noted that on November 28-29 Strasbourg will host a meeting of the representatives of the two countries' civil societies. It is expected that a joint declaration will be signed at the meeting.
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 Nagorno-Karabakh 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.