Azerbaijan is ready to start serious negotiations on peace agreement - FM
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
Azerbaijan is ready to start serious negotiations to prepare the draft peace agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen - Igor Popov (Russia), Pierre Andrieu (France), James Warlick (US) and special representative of the OSCE Chairman Andrzej Kasprzyk, the defense ministry said Feb. 16.
The sides exchanged views on the negotiation process to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
While speaking about the ceasefire violation, Mammadyarov said that first of all in accordance with the requirements of international law and four UN Security Council resolutions, the co-chairmen must urge Armenia to liberate the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
"The withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan will be an important action to resolve the conflict and to build trust between the sides," he said.
He stressed the need to start serious negotiations on the draft peace agreement.
"Azerbaijan is ready for these negotiations," he said.
The schedule of actions was discussed at the meeting with the co-chairmen to start working on a peace agreement.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries 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.
Edited by CN