Lazarev Club's inviting illegal regime "representatives" contradicts peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict: Abdullayeva
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The invitation to "representatives" of the illegal regime, created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, to the meeting of the Russian-Armenian Lazarev Club contradicts the goals of the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, spokesperson of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said.
Abdullayeva made the remarks at a press conference in Baku on Feb. 25 while answering Trend correspondent’s question.
"The platform of the Russian-Armenian Lazarev Club, which began to operate in 2018, is used for provocative purposes,” she said. “This is quite obvious when considering the opinions voiced at the first meeting of this club in Yerevan on November 30-December 1, 2018.”
Abdullayeva stressed that Azerbaijan, through the embassy in Russia, expressed displeasure to the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with this issue.
"Our side stressed in December 2018 that one of the initiators and organizers of this club, which presents itself as a new format of public diplomacy, is Konstantin Zatulin, who holds the position of first deputy chairman of the committee of the Russian State Duma for CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots,” she added.
“The organizers' invitation to "representatives" of the illegal regime, created in the territories of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia, to attend this meeting, as well as opinions expressed by Zatulin himself, which are attacking Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, also similar positions of other participants during the meeting intend to harm high level relations between Azerbaijan and Russia,” Abdullayeva said.
"Moreover, it was stressed that the opinions voiced by Zatulin are contrary to the interests of development of cooperation within the CIS and do not correspond to his status as first deputy chairman of the corresponding committee of the State Duma," Abdullayeva said.
“Unfortunately, the organizers of this club do not demonstrate an intention to make any changes in its activity and openly declare about the invitation to "representatives" of the illegal regime to attend the second meeting of the club, which is planned to be held on March 5-6, 2019 in Moscow,” she said.
"Such activity of the Lazarev Club, which clearly contradicts the goals of the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through substantive negotiations, does not coincide with the efforts of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, including Russia," Abdullayeva 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 Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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