Official Baku States Negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Settlement to Continue from Stage before Presidential Elections in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan, Baku, 17 October / Trend , corr. I.Alizade / Official Baku stated that the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement will be continuing from the stage before the presidential elections in Azerbaijan.
"Before the presidential elections in Azerbaijan, significant steps have been taken to solve the conflict. The motion and character of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process will depend on the position of the Armenian leadership," Novruz Mammadov, Head of Foreign Relations Department of Azerbaijani Presidential Administration, told Trend on 17 October.
The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus began in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. 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 USA) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
Presidential elections in Azerbaijan took place on 15 October. The candidate from the ruling party, current President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev gained 88.73% of all votes.
The official of the Presidential Administration said that before the elections, together with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairmen, the leaderships of Turkey and Russia made additional efforts for the conflict settlement.
He said that all efforts have been directed towards making the position of Armenia more constructive, understandable and suitable for the international norms.
"The recent processes in South Caucasus gave a push to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. The European Union and Western countries understood that non-settlement of such conflicts is a great danger and highlighted the importance of prompt solution of the conflict. Therefore, I consider that a favorable condition have appeared for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement," Mammadov said.
He said that over the next several months, it will be clear whether Armenian leadership really has a frank position on the conflict settlement or presenting certain obstacles, takes fraud steps, gains rating, strengthens its position before country citizens and Armenian diasporas.
The official of the Presidential Administration said that after these elections, the position of Azerbaijan President will be more decisive.
"It is high time to settle the conflict and significant steps should be taken in this regard. Prague process (gradual settlement of the conflict) will be continuing. Negotiations will be continued on several issues not completely coordinated in Madrid. The current opinion is that the best and most suitable variant for the conflict settlement is to free the regions and later to focus on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. The processes will be continuing in this framework," Mammadov said.
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