Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26
By Anakhanum Idayatova - Trend:
The dramatic increase of violence in April along the line of contact of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops is a matter of serious concern, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said in an interview with The Business Year magazine.
The president said that the OSCE Minsk Group is the only practical platform for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution.
"Austria, in general, attaches great importance to multilateral diplomacy," he said. "The Austrian OSCE chairmanship will build on the excellent work of the current German OSCE Chairmanship."
"We, therefore, hope that that Azerbaijan will continue to work closely with the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group and within all other structures of the OSCE," he said.
The president said that economic relations between Austria and Azerbaijan can be qualified as well-established and on a solid base.
"Bilateral trade between Austria and Azerbaijan has increased nearly tenfold in the last 10 years," he said. "In 2010, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber opened an office in Baku, with the aim of contributing to the development and expansion of bilateral trade relations."
The president also expressed hope for further strengthening of the economic cooperation between the two countries.
The president added that Austria appreciates that Azerbaijan, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, is trying to introduce reforms and diversify its economy.
Starting from April 27 evening until 04:00 (GMT + 4) April 28, the Armenian armed forces were firing at the Azerbaijani settlements and the Azerbaijani army positions in the Terter and Aghdam districts of Azerbaijan.
Two people were killed and many more wounded as a result of the Aghdam shelling. At least 84 houses in the district were heavily damaged, some of them completely destroyed.
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.
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