Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec.25
Azerbaijan calls for intensifying the work on the proposals on the negotiating table in the process of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in order to change the unacceptable status quo, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview with local media Dec. 25.
"The withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories could eliminate escalation, create favorable conditions for the settlement of the conflict through negotiations," he said.
Mammadyarov expressed regret that Armenia has not used this opportunity for over 20 years.
"The presidents and foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries have repeatedly stated the inadmissibility of the status quo and it must be changed," he said.
"The cases of ceasefire violation along the contact line between the troops and the Azerbaijani-Armenian border have never really stopped," he said. "The war has been going on for over 20 years."
"The main reason of the current situation is the presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan," he said. "It is impossible to ensure peace without withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from there."
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.