Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity is supported by the whole world, including Latvia, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at a joint press conference with his Latvian counterpart Raimonds Vejonis in Riga on Monday, APA reported.
He noted that the joint declaration on strategic partnership signed between Latvia and Azerbaijan touches on a number of key issues concerning the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The document emphasizes that the conflict must be resolved in line with the UN Security Council’s related resolutions within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and border inviolability. This is a just stance for which I’m grateful to the Latvian president,” the Azerbaijani leader said.
“Today we did touch on a number of regional problems and discussed some issues of security as well. As strategic partners, we now discuss any issue in a completely overt and frank manner,” President Aliyev 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 December 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.