Azerbaijan says main cause of incidents is Armenian troops’ presence in Karabakh
The main cause of incidents at the line of contact is the illegal presence of Armenian troops in the occupied Azerbaijani territories, said Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the main priority of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy, Mammadyarov said addressing the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy on Tuesday, an APA correspondent reported from Moscow.
He stressed that the failure to resolve the conflict is a major obstacle to the regional development.
“Azerbaijan and Armenia have been suffering from this problem for about 30 years. Yesterday, I thoroughly discussed with my Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov the ways to resolve the conflict. The Azerbaijani and Russian presidents also discuss this issue on a regular basis,” said Mammadyarov.
The Azerbaijani FM urged Armenia to show political will for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Those who are engaged in the settlement of this conflict are well aware what the main problem is. First of all, for the resolution of the conflict, Armenia must withdraw its troops from the occupied territories and ensure the region’s security. Then the Azerbaijani IDPs must return to their native lands, the region’s communications and railway line should be reconstructed,” said Mammadyarov, noting that all this will contribute to the economic development of the region.
The status of Nagorno-Karabakh should be considered at the final stage, according to the Azerbaijani minister.
Touching upon the mounting escalation on the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, Mammadyarov said that Baku does not oppose to the idea of conducting an investigation of incidents at the line of contact.
“They offer to conduct an investigation of incidents at the contact line. We agree with this proposal. However, it should be part of a big plan. It should be done after the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. The main cause of incidents at the line of contact is the illegal presence of Armenian troops in the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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