Details added (first version posted on 14:30)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 29
Armenia’s military exercises in the occupied Azerbaijani territories are a huge blow to peace process, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told reporters Sept. 29 in Baku.
Mammadyarov said that the Azerbaijani side has already informed the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs about it and demanded from the co-chairs to get connected with the Armenian side and avoid such provocations.
“If we talk about the restoration of peace and demand the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories, Armenia’s conducting military exercises in the occupied Agdam is a provocation,” said the minister.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will visit the region in October, added the minister.
“The co-chairs think that the work on the conflict’s settlement must be continued and they are going to visit the region in the second half of October,” he noted.
The co-chairs plan to visit Azerbaijan and Armenia and perhaps, then they will determine which proposals will be put up for a possible meeting of the two states’ presidents, said Mammadyarov.
The minister said also that he discussed this issue with Russian foreign minister.
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.