During his speech on 21 March at Middle Asia and Caucasus Institute of Jon Hopkins in Washington, the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov stated that Russia plays a constructive role in the negotiations regarding the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
"Based on talks with the Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, I can say that the Russian representative plays a very constructive role," Mammadyarov said. "Prior tothe recent meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Geneva, a meeting took place in Moscow. My talks with the Foreign Minister of Russia, Lavrov, concurred with Azerbaijan in that we need to move forward. I positively assess the role of Russia," Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister said.
According to Mammadyarov, within its foreign policy role, Azerbaijan's top priority is the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. "Nagorno-Karabakh is a very sensitive issue for the people of the two countries," he said. "Over the past 15 years of negotiations, we were close to reaching an agreement several times, but at the final moment, certain events occurred which prevented this from taking place. I feel that now is the appropriate time to regulate the conflict. We should take each step at a time so as to achieve great confidence between the two nations," Mammadyarov stressed.
According to the Azerbaijani Minister, we believe that the prompt settlement of the conflict is in the interest of Armenia and its national security. "It is obvious that a political decision should be taken step by step in order to strengthen the confidence between the countries and to establish economic co-operation, resulting in the withdrawal of troops and involvement of the peacemakers. This is reality. The sooner the Head of Armenia understands this, the better it will be for Armenia and the region in general. "We are continuing negotiations regarding the principles of the settlement. We have succeeded to a certain extent, but there is still more to do," Mammadyarov said.