Baku, Azerbaijan, May 15
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
When we talk about preparing nations for peace, it concerns, first and foremost, preparation for peace in Armenia, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in response to a question from Armenian journalists in Brussels, Trend reports.
Replying to the statement of Armenian journalist that it is impossible to achieve a real settlement of the conflict without adding the illegal regime created in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan to the negotiation process, Mammadyarov said it isn't entirely correct.
"The co-chairs made visits to the region and traveled to Karabakh throughout all the years that the negotiations have been held, and communicated with representatives of the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh."
"Plus, both under the former and the current administration, I hope that they inform the representatives of the Armenian community of Karabakh about everything that happens at the talks. By the way, your leadership also said so."
Mammadyarov remarked that "the question is not whether they are participating or not. The question is that we need to take a serious political approach to the decision in order to sit down and complete the process," adding that this is what he deems "substantive negotiations."
"In what language should I say, read your Constitution, the Constitution of the 1990s, and then we will talk. You sit there and deceive yourself, you want to deceive the Armenian people. I am asking you - what did the Armenian people get during the 30 years of war with Azerbaijan?" the minister asked the Armenian journalists.
When the Armenian journalists asked "what did Azerbaijan get?", Mammadyarov named the opening of roads, the construction of a gas pipeline and an oil pipeline.
"Is that not enough?" he asked.
Mammadyarov noted that when the preparation of nations for peace is being talked about, it concerns, first and foremost, the preparation for peace in Armenia.
"You have closed borders with at least 2 out of 4 countries, and the third one is about to get closed. And? Think and ask yourself," the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister 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.