Baku, Azerbaijan, June 19
Armenia’s recent provocations on the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops are deliberate and aim at escalating the situation and disrupting the negotiations, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told a meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in Baku.
The importance of changing the current status-quo, which is unsustainable and unacceptable, through substantive negotiations was emphasized at the meeting of FM Mammadyarov with OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Stephane Visconti, Igor Popov, Richard Hoagland and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
Elmar Mammadyarov noted that in line with the proposals on the table, the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan is crucial for achieving progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement.
He also mentioned the illegal activities, including establishment of settlements, destruction of cultural heritage, organization of illegal flights and other illegal economic actions conducted by Armenia in the occupied Azerbaijani territories. He added that such illegal activities by Armenia seriously impede the negotiation process.
At the meeting, the sides also noted the importance of intensifying the negotiation process.
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.