Negotiations on Karabakh conflict settlement must be continued – Finnish foreign ministry

Negotiations on Karabakh conflict settlement must be continued – Finnish foreign ministry

Baku, Azerbaijan, Mar. 2

By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:

Today it is much more important to continue negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, rather than focusing on the OSCE Minsk Group format, Roving Ambassador of Finland to Southern Caucasus Christer Mickelson told Trend March 2.

He was commenting on the idea of expanding the OSCE Minsk Group format by including Turkey and Germany.

"The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved as part of the Madrid principles," he said.

Madrid principles are the code name of the main principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, proposed to Azerbaijan and Armenia by the OSCE Minsk Group in Madrid in November 2007. A part of the updated version of the Madrid principles was published in L'Aquila (Italy) on July 10, 2009.

"The EU is an example of peace," he said.

"The reason of the EU creation after the World War II was to achieve peace between France and Germany," he said. "Europe is an example of the countries which have had problems with each other. At present, we also have problems. But we resolve them at the negotiating table in Brussels, that's why Europe is thriving."

"During the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen's recent visit to Helsinki, the two sides exchanged views and information on the current status of the conflict," the diplomat said.

While commenting on his visit to Azerbaijan, Mickelson said that he intends to intensify the relations between Azerbaijan and Finland.

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 four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

Edited by CN

follow the author on Twitter: @Anahanum

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