Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25
The Nagorno-Karabakh problem has already become overripe and needs to be settled, said Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov May 25.
He made the remarks at a press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, according to the website of Russia's Foreign Ministry.
Mammadyarov said that very important discussions on this issue were underway for two days.
Noting that he shares the optimism expressed by Lavrov on the matter, Mammadyarov said the sides discussed the opportunities for progress in the conflict in details, piece by piece.
Lavrov for his part said no one denies that the conflict has been protracted for too long.
"All agree that there is a real basis for reaching agreements, the matter here rests only in translating this understanding into the language agreements," he said.
"Yesterday, for a few hours we discussed in great details the approaches to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Lavrov said, adding, "The parties have all the groundworks, the co-chairs were taking into account the parties' proposals, and I look at the negotiation process with increasing optimism."
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.