Time to return Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia long due
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 20
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Time to return Azerbaijani lands occupied by Armenia is long due, Novruz Mammadov, deputy head of Azerbaijani presidential administration, chief of the administration's foreign relations department told reporters Nov.20.
Mammadov was responding to a question about the talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Yerevan.
Earlier, Armenian media reported that Russia is trying to persuade Armenia to liberate the occupied Azerbaijani districts in exchange for Azerbaijan's consent to join the Eurasian Union.
Mammadov meanwhile said that the Armenian side has not realized yet that the more it delays the conflict's solution, the worse it is for them.
"The Armenian leadership, namely, the foreign minister and president, often first agree on one issue and then suddenly change the position during the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations," Mammadov said. "The situation changes and previous words and statements seem to have no significance."
Mammadov said that the essence of all negotiations on Karabakh conflict is that at least 3-5 occupied districts of Azerbaijan must be liberated at first.
"According to the Madrid principles, at first, five districts must be released," he said. "These districts must be cleared from mines. Refugees must return there."
The second stage is for determining the format of the Lachin corridor and the issue of liberating two more Azerbaijani districts, Mammadov said.
At the same time, in parallel, earlier or later, a question of placing the peacekeeping troops in Nagorno-Karabakh [will be solved], he said.
"That is what they want - ensuring of the safety factor," Mammadov said.
"The third stage includes the return of refugees to Nagorno-Karabakh, and after a certain time - holding of a referendum as part of the Azerbaijani legislation," he added.
Mammadov also said that Azerbaijan has not seen a fair position of the Western countries concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement in accordance with UN resolutions, norms and principles of international law for a long time.
"This complicates the situation," Mammadov said.
Mammadov further noted that justice in the world is important.
"The justice in all processes, actions, negotiations is a primary issue," he said. "All other processes follow justice. But if it is not so, the world is going through the current period."
"I do not want anybody to experience this," he said. "We also strongly condemn the events in Paris, as well as the processes related to the Russian plane, and others. It makes no sense to link these events with humanity or religion."
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.