Headline changed, details added (first version posted on 16:21)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 4
Azerbaijan will not make concessions on its territorial integrity, Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said May 4.
He made the remarks during the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Visegrad Group and of the Eastern Partnership countries in Prague.
"Armenia continues to ignore the calls of the international community for changing the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," said the minister. "The provocative actions of Armenian armed forces on the line of contact in early April led to an unprecedented escalation of the situation in the conflict's history."
Azerbaijan has always clearly said that the presence of Armenian armed forces in Azerbaijan's occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts is the main reason of instability and frequent armed clashes on the line of contact, according to Mammadyarov.
"Azerbaijan is interested in the continuation of the negotiation process," said the foreign minister, adding that the "Road Map" of peace and stability is clear and is based on the international law.
"Like the Visegrad Group and Eastern Partnership countries, Azerbaijan will not make concessions on its territorial integrity," said Mammadyarov. "As required by the UN Security Council's resolutions, Armenian armed forces should be unconditionally withdrawn from the occupied territories and the safe return of the IDPs to their homeland should be ensured."
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.