Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend E.Huseynov / Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs held discussions in Strasbourg over the peaceful resolution of the Armenia Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Ambassador Arif Mammаdov, the Azerbaijani permanent representative at the Council of Europe, said in a telephone conversation that, the two sides held discussions recently over dinner. Regarding the achievement of an agreement on the forthcoming round of talks due in St. Petersburg between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, scheduled for 10 July within the framework of the Economic Summit, the ambassador said that the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is expected to participate in the Economic Summit in St. Petersburg. However, it is still unknown whether the consultations will take place.
Mammadov also stressed that the peaceful negotiations over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was the focus at the meeting of the CE's Ago Group, which was held in Strasbourg on 10 May with the participation of the Azerbaijani minister.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs held consultations separately with Vartan Oskanian, the Armenian foreign minister in Strasbourg on 11 May, Mammadov reported.
The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus appeared in 1988 due to territorial claims by Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding Districts. Since 1992, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are holding peaceful negotiations.
The Minsk Group Co-Chairs' are responsible for making efforts to guarantee peace and stability in the region. They frequently visit the region, meeting with the disputing parties to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict, as well as take necessary measures to restore and reinforce trust between the conflicting parties. They periodically prepare reports and report to the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Miguel Angel Moratinos, and Spain's Foreign Minister, who took up post this year, on what has been done.
On 10 May Moratinos met with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in Madrid and discussed ways to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh The issue will be the focus of discussions during the Spanish Minister's forthcoming visit to Azerbaijan and Armenia due on 4-5 June.