Pentagon: U.S. appreciates Azerbaijan's contribution to peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 2 / Trend /
The United States appreciates Azerbaijan's contribution to peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas said at a meeting with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov on Tuesday.
The sides discussed prospects of cooperation between the two countries, regional processes as well as Azerbaijan's relations with NATO, the press service of the Foreign Ministry said.
Relations with NATO are of strategic importance for Azerbaijan, Mammadyarov said at the meeting.
Speaking about the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the minister said the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territory may create good opportunities to resolve the conflict.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister assessed the conflict as a threat to stability and security in the region.
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.