Details added (first version posted on 13:24)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 14
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Azerbaijan believes that the latest statement by the OSCE Minsk Group is addressed namely to Armenia, said Hikmet Hajiyev, head of the foreign policy department of the presidential administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Trend reports March 14.
He said that some of the opinions in the latest statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also reflect the position of Azerbaijan.
“The statement once again clearly states that putting forward any conditions on the negotiation process or such attempts as changing the format of negotiations are unacceptable, and the negotiations should continue in existing format,” Hajiyev noted.
He noted that negotiations should continue in the format in which they were held.
“In addition, any aggressive rhetoric regarding the results of the negotiation process against the background of ongoing negotiations is also unacceptable,” he said. “At the same time, it is necessary to note the principles of a phased resolution of the conflict, where one of the main points includes such measures as the liberation of the territories around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, the return of forced migrants to these territories, ensuring their security, and their fundamental basis is the Helsinki Final Act, which stresses that principle of self-determination of peoples should in no way harm the territorial integrity of states.”
Regarding the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, he stressed that Azerbaijan is always ready to discuss this issue within its territorial integrity, and in this matter, it is necessary to again refer to the basic principles of the Helsinki Final Act.
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.