Azerbaijan’s position coincides with the international community’s position on the fact that the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unacceptable, Azerbaijani foreign ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev told Trend.
“The current situation should be changed for the sake of the region’s future and its prosperity. We agree with the position indicated in the statement of the presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries that one should not artificially delay the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as it affects the region’s future and fate of its people,” Abdullayev said.
He said Baku has repeatedly stated its willingness to sign a comprehensive peace agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh and has always supported the strengthening of confidence building measures, Abdullayev underscored.
“Last year we supported the initiative to hold meetings of communities in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, but Armenia did not do it,” Abdullayev said.
He said any incident on the front line starts because of the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
“If Armenia finally withdraws its occupation troops from Azerbaijani territories, there will be no incidents on the contact line. Obviously, withdrawal of Armenian forces will be necessary so that the mechanisms of the resolution can work,” Abdullayev said. “The biggest obstacle to the development of the region is the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and the entire region will benefit from the withdrawal of Armenian armed forces, as indicated in the presidents’ statement,” he added.
The presidents of Russia, the United States and France regret that Azerbaijan and Armenia have not taken decisive steps to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and urged the parties to accelerate the coordination of the basic principles of resolving the problem.
Russia, U.S. and France are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group on resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
‘We urge the leaders to follow the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and in particular, the principles of non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, equality and the right of peoples to self-determination and elements of settlement as defined in the statements of our two countries made in L’Aquila in 2009 and in Muskoka 2010′, the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries’ presidents says.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France and the U.S. – are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.