Baku, Azerbaijan, June 15
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
NATO continues to encourage both Armenia and Azerbaijan to work towards a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a NATO official told Trend June 15.
The official was commenting on the recent visit of James Appathurai, NATO secretary general’s special representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, to Armenia, where he made several statements regarding the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“NATO fully supports the [OSCE] Minsk Group’s efforts to that end,” the NATO official 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.
“Appathurai’s recent visit to Armenia was aimed at taking stock of NATO-Armenia cooperation, on the basis of an Individual Partnership Action Plan (also referred to as IPAP) signed by NATO and Armenia,” noted the official. “This IPAP focuses on areas such as interoperability and defense reform.”
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