Azer­bai­jani, Ar­me­nian FMs meet in New York

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Rashid Shiri­nov

Azer­bai­jani For­eign Min­is­ter El­mar Mam­mad­yarov met with the Ar­me­nian FM Zohrab Mnat­sakanyan un­der the me­di­a­tion of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs Igor Popov of Rus­sia, Stephane Vis­conti of France and An­drew Schofer of the U.S. Per­sonal Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the OSCE Chair­per­son-in-Of­fice An­drzej Kasprzyk also at­tended the meet­ing.

Com­ment­ing on the re­sults of the meet­ing, Mam­mad­yarov said that Azer­bai­jan and Ar­me­nia agreed to con­tinue ne­go­ti­a­tions on the set­tle­ment of the Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs next month.

“In gen­eral, the talks lasted for more than three hours. There was an in­ter­est­ing and im­por­tant ex­change of views on the on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment of the con­flict res­o­lu­tion, as well as on what must be done to en­sure sus­tain­able peace in the re­gion,” the Azer­bai­jani FM said. “We agreed to con­tinue these talks next month, in­clud­ing the co-chairs’ visit to the re­gion.”

The long-stand­ing NagornoKarabakh con­flict be­gan in 1988 when Ar­me­nia made ter­ri­to­rial claims against Azer­bai­jan. As a re­sult of the en­su­ing war, Ar­me­nian armed forces oc­cu­pied as much as 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan, in­clud­ing the coun­try’s Nagorno-Karabakh re­gion and seven sur­round­ing re­gions. Dur­ing the war, more than 20,000 Azer­bai­ja­nis were killed and over 1 mil­lion were dis­placed as a re­sult of the large-scale hos­til­i­ties. Largescale hos­til­i­ties ended with a Rus­siabro­kered cease­fire in 1994.

Since then, the OSCE Minsk Group has been work­ing to find a peace­ful solution to the con­flict. Azer­bai­jan has long ago stated it is ready to set­tle the con­flict through di­rect ne­go­ti­a­tions with Ar­me­nia with the me­di­a­tion of the OSCE Minsk Group.

How­ever, no ma­jor progress has been achieved in the con­flict res­o­lu­tion so far. The main rea­son for this is the un­will­ing­ness of the Ar­me­nian side to re­ally join sub­stan­tive ne­go­ti­a­tions and Yere­van’s at­tempts to pre­serve the un­ac­cept­able sta­tus quo in Nagorno-Karabakh by any means.

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