Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 29 / Trend T.Konyayeva /
Uzbekistan considers Azerbaijan as a factor of stability and security in the South Caucasus, Ismatulla Irgashev, Uzbek ambassador to Azerbaijan, said at the Center for Strategic Studies under the Azerbaijani President today.
The discussions in the center are held within a special project to hold meetings with diplomatic representatives of different countries. The topic of today's meeting was Azerbaijani-Uzbek relations in the context of contemporary regional geopolitics.
"Azerbaijan is an important strategic partner of Uzbekistan in the region. So, we are ready to continue supporting Baku in the international arena," ambassador said.
He said that similar national interests and common culture, traditions and languages bring the positions of the two countries together.
Uzbekistan has consistently supported and supports a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, ambassador said.
"We think that this issue must be resolved exclusively within Azerbaijan's territorial integrity . Uzbekistan was always on Azerbaijani side and supported it in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Irgashev said.
Ambassador thinks that it is necessary to observe the accepted international principles in resolving such conflicts. Uzbekistan has an unequivocal position inthis issue.
A conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding negotiations to resolve the dispute.
Armenia has failed to implement UN Security Council resolutions stipulating the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.