Baku, Azerbaijan, May 31
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who will arrive in Baku June 19 as part of their visit to the South Caucasus region, have repeatedly expressed readiness to continue substantive talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement, Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, said.
Hajiyev went on to add that absurd statements made by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian at a joint press conference with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier in Yerevan May 30 once again show that Armenia’s policy is to preserve the status quo based on the occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
“Attempts by the Armenian foreign minister to present the occupation of Azerbaijani territories under the guise of the right of peoples to self-determination can only be compared to Nazi Germany’s occupation of Sudetenland, which belonged to former Czechoslovakia, in 1938,” Hajiyev noted. “The international community unequivocally and resolutely supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.”
“Thus, the international community once again makes it clear for Armenia that the status quo achieved as a result of the occupation, as well as attempts to change internationally recognized borders of states through the use of force are inacceptable,” he added.
The earlier Armenia understands this reality and withdraws its troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories in accordance with the plans presented at the negotiating table, the earlier sustainable peace and security in the region will be restored, Hajiyev said.
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.