Details added (first version posted at 13:10)
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 30
By Seba Agahyeva – Trend:
Azerbaijan is ready for substantive negotiations for the early settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the change of the inadmissible and unsustainable status quo, Spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmat Hajiyev told Trend June 30.
“The need for holding substantive talks to resolve the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was stated in a joint statement after the meeting of the [Azerbaijani, Armenian] presidents in Saint Petersburg,” he said.
“In this context, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs during their recent visit to the [South Caucasus] region offered holding a meeting of foreign ministers. Azerbaijan expressed its consent and willingness regarding this proposal.”
Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated its readiness for substantive talks to settle the conflict, according to Hajiyev.
Earlier, Armenian media outlets reported that the country’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian didn’t rule out a meeting with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in July.
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.