Azerbaijan considers Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as main threat to stability in region (UPDATE)

details added (first version posted at 9:22)

Baku, Azerbaijan, April 21

Trend:

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the main threat to stability in the region, Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Zakir Hasanov said at a meeting with Iran's Defense Minister, Major General Hossein Dehghani, the ministry said April 20.

Dehghani paid an official visit to Baku.

Hasanov said that the cooperation between the two countries has been based on friendly relations and it is being constantly developed.

As for the military-political situation in the region, Hasanov spoke about the occupation of Azerbaijani territories as a result of military aggression of Armenia, the problems of over a million refugees and internally displaced persons of the country.

Dehghani said that the relations between Azerbaijan and Iran have ancient roots.

"The two countries have great potential for cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, military and other fields," he said.

Dehghani reiterated that Iran supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and its fair position on the settlement of the conflict.

Then the views on the issues of mutual interest were exchanged.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

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