Azerbaijani Territories Occupied by Armenians Should be Returned: PACE Head (video)
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend A.Gasimova / The Council of Europe supports its position on the conflicts in South Caucasus region, including Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Council of Europe's position on Nagorno-Karabakh is that Azerbaijani territories occupied by the Armenians should be returned, said the PACE President, Rene van der Linden, on 9 July in Baku.
The conflict between the two countries of South Caucasus appeared in 1988 due to the territorial claims of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani land including Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven Districts of the country surrounding it. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France and USA) are presently holding peaceful negotiations.
According to Linden, PACE cannot force the sides to come to an agreement, they should do it themselves. "The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be settled peacefully, but not through war," he said. According to him, peaceful settlement is primarily important for Armenia who has closed its borders with two countries, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Rene van der Linden has been in Baku since 7 July. After meeting at the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan on 9 July, he briefed the media that discussions were held on Azerbaijan's obligations undertaken before the Council of Europe, as well as foreign-political topic and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Rene van der Linden's visit to the region ends on 9 July.