Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 28
The format of negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is known, and changing it is not and cannot be a topic of discussion, Head of the Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmet Hajiyev said.
Hajiyev was commenting on the statement by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan regarding the format of the negotiations, Trend reports Feb. 28.
Hajiyev said that the negotiation process is being conducted between Armenia and Azerbaijan as parties to the conflict through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
“Holding three meetings between President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, four meetings between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia after the change of power in Armenia is a vivid example of the fact that negotiations are held on the basis of the existing format,” Hajiyev added. “The statements by the Armenian authorities on changing the format of the negotiation process are nothing more than attempts to deliberately drive the talks into a dead end and disrupt the negotiation process. Responsibility for this fully falls on Armenia.”
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.