Official Baku Opposes Change of Negotiation Format on Settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr S. Aghayeva / There is no necessity to change the format of negotiations on settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the head of the Foreign Relations Department at the Azerbaijani President's Executive Administration, Novruz Mammadov, said on 5 September.
"It is the time for a dialogue in search of a new format for settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," the acting OSCE Chairman, the Foreign Minister of Spain, Miguel Angel Moratinos, said in Tbilisi on 4 September. "Yesterday I met with the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers in Brussels and I said to them that it was time for new initiatives, as the current formats did not satisfy the parties," he said. "I said to them that it was the time for a new dialogue to find some outlet from the situation," Moratinos added.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
According to Novruzov, the mediators - the Co-Chairs of OSCE Minsk Group - tried to fulfil the undertaken obligations in settling the conflict. "Indeed, they do not cope with the task, but that does not mean the format of talks should be changed," Mammadov said. In his opinion, there is nothing negative in attracting additional forces to the process if it is necessary for the conflict's settlement.
"The OSCE Minsk Group does develop a legislative basis in the settlement of the conflict, but efforts of other countries could be involved," Mammadov said. The Council of Europe, the European Union, and other international organizations can present fair positions in the conflict's settlement, but it is too early to change the format of the negotiations," he said.