Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Prepared to Meet with his Armenian Counterpart

Politics Materials 15 April 2008 14:44 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 15 April / corr Trend K.Ramazanova / Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, stated his readiness to meet with his Armenian counterpart, who was newly-appointed last week, in order to discuss a possible meeting between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia.

"I do not think having a replacement in this position will mean re-commencement of negotiations. We have coordinated many issues within the framework of the Prague process and we should continue the process," Mammadyarov said.

After the 18 February, the presidential elections, which ended with a decisive victory for Serzh Sarkisian, the Armenian Foreign Minister, Vardan Oskanian, reported that he was leaving this position and replaced by Eduard Nalbandian.

Mammadyarov said that it is important for Azerbaijan to make the chairman and international organizations understand that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be solved in any other way than the provision of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

'As soon as Armenia holds a constructive position, it will reflect positively in Armenia and the region as a whole," the minister said.

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.