Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 9
By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:
Armenia avoids substantive negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, strengthens its military presence in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, and by all means tries to maintain the status quo, said Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov during the meeting with Herbert Salber, the EU special representative for the South Caucasus.
The sides met on the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg.
The presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied Azerbaijani territories remains the main reason for escalation of the conflict in the region and it is the main obstacle to conflict’s resolution, the minister said.
As for the EU citizen diplomacy measures implemented in the conflict settlement, Mammadyarov noted the importance of continuing the dialogue between the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The parties also mulled the prospects of developing the Azerbaijan-EU cooperation.
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.