EU supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity – Latvian Foreign Ministry
Riga, Latvia, Feb.13
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
The international community and the EU fully support Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, Ambassador-at-large for the Eastern Partnership at Latvian Foreign Ministry, Juris Poikans said on the sidelines of the 2nd Eastern Partnership Youth Forum in Riga.
Latvia took over the presidency of the EU Council in H1 of 2015.
"We are supporting the territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova," Poikans said. "There is a clear position of the international community and the EU on this issue."
Poikans said he was in Baku several times and understands how important the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is for Azerbaijan.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Poikans said that frozen conflicts are very important issue naturally for the whole region.
"We are working in close cooperation with our allies and friends within the EU together with US to try to find the solution of so very-very sensitive issues on the post-Soviet area."
Poikans added that EU will provide incentives, platforms for trying to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but cannot impose any solutions to these issues.
"At the end of the day I think the solution should be found between the countries which are involved in the conflict," he said, adding that the international community in general can provide a platform [for resolving this conflict].
The high-ranking official emphasized the initiatives of the French president to organize the meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Paris, and the initiative of the Russian president to arrange such meeting in Sochi.
At the same time, he admitted that OSCE Minsk Group has not produced visible results in the conflict's settlement. "But currently, this [Minsk Group] remains the only format where we can find or where we hope to find any kind of solution for this."
Poikans added that when it comes to changing the format of the Minsk Group, it should be decided by the sides which are engaged in the conflict.
Moreover, Latvian ambassador-at-large said that he plans to travel again to Baku in late February, 2015.
Edited by SI
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