Baku, Azerbaijan, March 13
By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend:
Delaying the negotiation process on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and provocations is the old policy of the Armenian authorities, first Vice Speaker of the Azerbaijani parliament Ziyafat Asgarov said, Trend reports.
“We don’t recognize the illegal regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” he noted. “The insincere behavior of the Armenian authorities impedes the holding of peace talks in the right direction. Yerevan always gives various reasons, in particular, changing the format of negotiations, the participation of the illegal regime in them and other excuses to avoid negotiations and disrupt the peace process.”
He added that the existing format was approved by the OSCE Minsk Group since 1992, and the negotiations should continue in this direction.
“Azerbaijan’s position is known to the international community and the OSCE Minsk Group,” he said. “Azerbaijan strongly opposes changing the format of negotiations, because the conflict exists between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and it is Armenia that occupied the lands of Azerbaijan. However, Armenia is trying in every way to impede the negotiations in this format. Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group think that the format of the negotiations should remain unchanged, and Azerbaijan supports the holding of negotiations in this direction.”
He stressed that Azerbaijan has always been committed to the negotiation process.
“However, our patience is not endless,” he said. “Azerbaijan wants the negotiation process to end with observance of international law, liberation of the occupied lands and restoration of peace in the region. Azerbaijan is ready to liberate its lands by any means, within international law, by using international support and not excluding military means. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan wants the conflict to be resolved through negotiations.”
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.