Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr S. Ilhamgizi / An appeal has been addressed to the Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, Milli Majlis (Azerbaijani parliament) and the National Academy of Sciences on behalf of the Karabakh Forum prepared by the co-chairman of the Union for Democracy, Ahmad Oruj.
A working group was established during the Karabakh Forum on 24 May attended by opposition parties, politicians and public representatives. The working group developed a document of suggestions on behalf of the Forum. The document was submitted to the head of state on 5 June.
"The issue on withdrawal of Russian troops from Armenia should be raised. The Azerbaijani Government should adopt a program on urgent settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Moreover, the term of mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group should be defined. There is a need in establish Karabakh and territorial institutions. National forces should begin a large-scale campaign on suspension of assistance rendered to Armenia by the United States, Russia, France and Iran. The requirements of the UN Charter providing for recognition of the aggressor country and imposing of sanctions should be fulfilled. A Karabakh Commission should be established in Parliament," the document states.
The Forum of the political parties came to a conclusion that Azerbaijan should allot funds for its army and increase the salaries of military men without making a show of this.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries started in 1988 due to the territorial claims of Armenia to Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven nearby regions. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement which put an end to active hostilities. The co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) hold peaceful negotiations.