Details added (first version posted on 13:02)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 30
Azerbaijan's position on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains unchanged from the very beginning of the negotiations, the spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, Leyla Abdullayeva, said at an international forum on regional threats from Armenia, Trend reports May 30.
She said that Azerbaijan takes a principled position on the conflict.
“Ensuring sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan is one of the priorities of the country’s foreign policy,” she added.
Abdullayeva stressed that Armenia and Azerbaijan are direct participants in the conflict.
“The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is recognized by all countries, excluding Armenia,” she said. “The main purpose of the ongoing negotiations is the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani lands and the return of internally displaced persons to their homes. After the ceasefire was achieved in 1994, the foundation was laid for an approach for gradual settlement of the conflict. This approach is reflected in the decisions of the OSCE as well.”
Abdullayeva reminded that after the change of power in Armenia, several meetings took place on the issue of resolving the conflict at the level of heads of the two countries and foreign ministers.
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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.