Norway Prepared to Assist Azerbaijan in Karabakh Issue
Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 April / Trend corr. K.Ramazanova / Norway is prepared to assist Azerbaijan to restore its occupied territories after the conflict is solved.
"We are concerned about the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and describe it as a tragedy," Jonas Gahr Store, Norwegian Foreign Minister, stated in the meeting with Azerbaijani students in Baku.
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.
Store stated that any unsolved conflicts hinder the development in the region. " Norway supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and stands for the peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh," the Norwegian Minister stated.
Store will meet with Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister on 29 April.
The joint Norwegian-Azerbaijani statement to develop friendship and partner relations was signed in Oslo in December 2007. The document envisages discussions between the countries in the sphere of policy and security, the development of cooperation in the economy sector including energy, and mutual investments, education, science and culture. Furthermore, the document reflects the cooperation within the framework of international organizations and integration into the Euro Atlantic organizations.