Details added (first version posted on 12:05)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.25
The withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijan's occupied lands can speed up the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmet Hajiyev said in an interview with Israeli İ24news TV channel Dec.25.
"Indeed, the ceasefire regime is relative," said Hajiyev. "It could create favorable conditions and atmosphere for de-occupation and eliminating the conflict's consequences."
Those who were previously stating that the conflict is "frozen" were deeply mistaken, according to Hajiyev.
The spokesperson noted that each time, on the eve of the meeting between the two countries' presidents, Armenia stages provocations and deliberately aggravates the situation.
He added that this time, Armenia staged provocations following the meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents with mediation of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs in Bern, Switzerland.
Armenia's true goal is to prevent the conflict's settlement, said Hajiyev.
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.