Baku, Azerbaijan, June 28
During press briefing on June 27, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said that “it is impossible to hold the negotiations with one hand and shoot with the other”, while commenting on the words of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov that “so far the situation hasn’t been calm at all at the frontline during the negotiations on the documents that are being discussed,” Trend reports quoting Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva.
“Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, answering questions from media representatives following the Washington meeting, said that the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as parties to the conflict, be it according to the Madrid principles, their updated version, the Kazan principles or the so-called Lavrov plan, were accompanied by flashes of tension on the contact line of troops,” Abdullayeva said.
She noted that nevertheless, the substantive intensive dialogue continued.
“That is, the negotiation process shouldn’t be hostage to the situation on the frontline,” she said. “Not understanding this and not drawing proper conclusions from what was said once again confirms the idea that the Armenian side is searching for excuses to avoid progress in the negotiation process.”
She reminded that the cause of the tension on the frontline is the illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces in the territory of Azerbaijan.
“In order to put an end to this tension, it is necessary to advance the negotiation process on resolving substantive issues,” she said. “According to the logic of the Armenian side, during a period of relative calmness in the frontline zone ensured on the basis of mutual agreement reached after the meeting in Dushanbe, we had to achieve concrete results in the negotiations. However, a party interested in the peaceful settlement of the conflict shouldn’t look for an excuse to avoid concrete, result-oriented talks; on the contrary, it should demonstrate the political will and determination. That’s exactly what Azerbaijan and the international community expect from the Armenian side.”
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.