Peace Talks Should not Depend on Presidential Elections in Azerbaijan: US Co-Chairman
Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 July/ Trend , corr A. Gasimova, R. Novruzov/ The mediators for the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict hope that the presidential elections in Azerbaijan will not affect the peace talk.
"The upcoming presidential elections in Azerbaijan should not affect talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and I am hopeful that this process will not stop, in any case, it depends on the Azerbaijani government," Matthew Bryza, the US co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group said to Trend on 17 July.
The US co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group hopes that the talks on the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will not end because of the presidential elections in Azerbaijan.
By the end of July, Azerbaijan will give an official go ahead to the election campaign for the presidential elections to be held in October 2008. The Central Election Committee will make public the exact date of talks by the end of July.
The chairman of the Musavat party Isa Gambar, chairman of Azerbaijan Democratic Party Sardar Jalaloglu, and chairman of the Green Party Mais Gulaliyev have decided to participate in the presidential elections. The political expert Eldar Namazov stated that he would run for presidency independently. Governing New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) is going nominate country's current President Ilham Aliyev.
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.