Zakharova: Format of Karabakh talks should be determined by sides of negotiations
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 21
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The format of negotiations on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement should be determined by the sides of the negotiations, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said at a briefing Nov. 21, Trend reports.
“Statements by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries repeatedly indicated that the plan for a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should provide for the right of all, I want to emphasize - all refugees and displaced persons to return to their previous places of residence,” Zakharova noted. “As for the negotiation format, this is of course a question to the parties which should determine and agree on the composition of the participants. Now the negotiation process, as you know, is at the level of Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership and if the corresponding agreements are reached between the two capitals, the two countries, we will support these agreements. I want to say once again: it is about the agreements to be reached between the two countries.”
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, 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.