Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs meet in New York
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.