Meeting of Azerbaijani, & Armenian Presidents Depends on OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen (video)
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend S. Aghayeva / Pre-requisites for the next meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents will be developed by the chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, who have plans to visit the region at the beginning of May-beginning of June.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, reported to correspondents in Baku on 18 May that the next visit is scheduled on 25 May. The visit of the acting OSCE Chairman, Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos is expected to visit the region on 4 June. On 5-6 June the region will be visited by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group.
"After the talks with the co-chairmen it will become clear whether there is a necessity for the meetings between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents. I believe the means for diplomatic settlement of the conflict have not been exhausted. It is too early to speak of the results, but negotiations will be continued," the minister said.
As to the position of Baku towards the presidential elections to be held in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) on 19 July, the minister said that any elections held in the NKR are illegal and ridiculous. They will not contribute to the peace process.
The conflict between the two South-Caucasus countries broke out in 1988 with Armenia's territorial claims to Azerbaijan. Some 20% of Azerbaijani territories (Nagorno-Karabakh and 7 nearby regions) have been under the occupation of the Armenian Armed Forces since 1992. In May, 1994 a ceasefire was signed with both sides. The peace talks under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk group presided by Russia, France, and United States are still fruitless.