Ali Ahmadov's opinion was added (first version was posted at 17:47)
Azerbaijan, Baku, May 13 / Trend T. Hajiyev /
Political parties in Azerbaijan have expressed concern over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Petros Efthimiou, Deputy Chairman of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party Ali Ahmadov told media.
"The representatives of political parties at the meeting expressed concern over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said. "I think that it is legitimate, because the Minsk Group operates within the OSCE. Unfortunately, despite much time has passed, the Minsk Group failed to demonstrate the fruitful activity in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh problem."
He said Azerbaijani society considers the activity of the Minsk Group and the OSCE with criticism. There are serious grounds for this. The OSCE PA chairman was informed about this.
"Expressing the position of various stratums of the Azerbaijani society, we can present to the official circles of the OSCE the visions of all Azerbaijani society regarding the question. At the meeting, there were voiced the views of various political organizations on other issues. The meeting was quite sincere. There have been many such meetings in Azerbaijan up to now, and maybe they will be after this as well. I do not want to completely reduce the value of these meetings to zero. Of course, in the context of conflict resolution, there is benefit of such meetings. From the point of view of achieving a fair peace, I believe such meetings are useful, but their fruitfulness is to be increased. We want these meetings do not become only event. And our opinion was communicated to the Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly," said Ahmedov.
He said the meeting also focused on the issue of resettlement of Armenians from Central Asia to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Also the situation with democracy in the country was discussed.
"Serious steps were taken in the sphere of democracy in Azerbaijan. There are democratic institutions, democratic values were consolidated in Azerbaijan. In this regard, Azerbaijan is moving forward, and will continue to cooperate with the OSCE structures and other organizations. We are looking at the democratization of Azerbaijan as an integral process, which I think is going successfully. Other parties also expressed their opinion to the Chairman of the OSCE PA. I believe that the Chairman of the Assembly is sufficiently knowledgeable about Azerbaijan. Everyone sees Azerbaijan's development. I felt the intention to objectively approach these issues. I think that the meetings held by the OSCE PA Chairman in Azerbaijan will provide a more grounded and objective opinion about the country," said Ahmedov.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Chairman and Executive Secretary of New Azerbaijan Party (NAP) Ali Ahmadov, Chairman of Musavat Party Isa Gambar, Chairman of Azerbaijan Popular Front Party (APFP) Ali Karimli, Chairman of Citizen Solidarity Party Sabir Rustamkhanli, Chairman of Great System Party Fazil Gazanfaroglu, Chairman of Ana Vatan (Motherland) Party Fazail Agamali, Chairman of Azerbaijan Liberal Party (ALP) Avaz Temirkhan, Chairman of Justice Party Ilyas Ismayilov, Chairman of Umid (Hope) Party Igbal Agazadeh, chairman of Social Welfare Party Khanhuseyn Kazimov and others.
OSCE PA chairman Petros Efthimiou is on visit to Azerbaijan on May 12-13. Today he has met with the heads of opposition and ruling parties.
The 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 the peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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