Baku, Azerbaijan, April 4
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
Azerbaijan gave Armenia one more chance for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani MP Hikmet Babaoglu told Trend April 4.
Babaoglu reminded about the meeting by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held in Vienna March 29, some points of which attracted particular attention.
“First of all, an end was put to the political speculation of Armenia regarding the format of the talks,” Babaoglu said. “After an almost a year’s pause, the talks on the essence of the issue started. Both parties called the negotiations constructive, the foreign policy structures of the parties were instructed to continue the negotiations. This can actually be regarded as the restoration of negotiations in the traditional “3+2” format.”
“Another important factor was that the statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs reflected the creation of an atmosphere for advancing the peace process, the importance of taking concrete result-oriented steps to resolve the conflict,” he added. “Approval of the talks by the UN secretary general, who spoke immediately after the talks with a special appeal, can be regarded as support of the UN for peace negotiations.”
The Azerbaijani MP said that another innovation is that the parties exchanged views on supporting the negotiation process by humanitarian actions.
“This step is aimed at achieving trusting environment, which is often stated by the co-chairs,” he noted. “The issue of trust may become topical after a certain stage of negotiations, and the Azerbaijani the side isn’t against this. Summarizing all this, the conclusion is as follows: Azerbaijan managed to bring the invader Armenia to the negotiating table, didn’t back off from its position, strengthened its support received at the international level, and gave Armenia another chance for the peaceful settlement of the problem. We will see how Yerevan will use this chance by the steps Armenia will take. Azerbaijan has never ruled out that it may resort to other means for restoring its territorial integrity.”
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.