European Council President : Stability in Southern Caucasus can't be achieved without fair resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 21 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /
The European Union (EU) belives that stability in the Southern Caucasus cannot be achieved without a fair resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said at a press-conference in Brussels on Friday on the outcome of the meeting with the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev.
Van Rompuy noted that the EU continues to support the mediation efforts of OSCE Minsk Group.
He also said that he was interested in the insights and perspectives highlighted by Azerbaijan's President during the meeting.
"I expressed my support for the statement by the Presidents of the Minsk Group Chair countries made earlier this week in Lough Erne, on the occasion of the G8 summit," Van Rompuy said.
The Presidents of the Minsk Group Chair countries urged the leaders of the sides to recommit to the Helsinki principles, particularly those relating to the non-use of force or the threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination of peoples Van Rompuy added.
He stressed that they appealed for avoiding any actions or rhetoric that could raise tension in the region and lead to escalation of the conflict.
"I also reiterated our willingness to expand existing measures aimed at bridging the increasing divide between the conflict parties," Van Rompuy said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent 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 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.