Azerbaijan, Baku, 1 September / Trend corr. I.Alizade/ The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Special Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh said the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is the key obstacle for closer cooperation amongst South Caucasus countries. "Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may become the beginning of closer cooperation amongst South Caucasus countries," OSCE PA Special Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh Goran Lenmarker said to journalists in Baku on 1 September.
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.
"The conflict is the only obstacle for cooperation amongst the three countries. Efforts and endeavours must be made to settle the conflict," said Lenmarker. According to him, settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is important in terms of repatriation of IDPs to their land and establishment of stability in the region.
During his today's visit to Baku Lenmarker discussed the situation in Georgia. "The position of such a leading country as Azerbaijan is important for OSCE," he said. He negotiated with Azerbaijani President, Parliamentary Speaker and Foreign Minister in Baku.
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