Kazakhstan, Astana / corr Trend K.Konirova / Armenia does not see any alternative to a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Mikael Arutunian, said in response to a question from a Trend correspondent. He was commenting on a statement made by his Azerbaijani counterpart on the possibility of rehabilitating the armed conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan 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 the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
Safar Abiyev, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister, considers the military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan more likely. "Until the Azerbaijani territory is under Armenian occupation, the probability for war is almost 100%," he said to a news conference in Astana on 27 November at the end of a meeting of the CIS Defense Ministers. "Only the commanders-in-chief of Azerbaijan and Armenia, who favor the peaceful resolution to the conflict, can make any decision on the breaking of a war," said the Armenian Defense Minister.