Azerbaijani FM says he’s not optimistic about Karabakh talks

Azerbaijani FM says he’s not optimistic about Karabakh talks
# 24 February 2017 11:21 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minster Elmar Mammadyarov said on Friday that he is not optimistic about talks over the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“I don’t have an optimistic view of meetings over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, neither does my Armenian counterpart in his speeches give us a chance so that we can discuss something positive,” Mammadyarov told reporters in Baku Feb. 24, APA reported.

He mentioned that all international organizations have recognized Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

“In my visit to Moscow next month I will bring up this issue during the talks with Russia, an OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing country,” said Mammadyarov, adding. “We’re going to be discussing what actions to take in order to change the status quo. Everyone knows how the problem can be solved. It’s no secret to anyone what plan is awaiting on the negotiation table and that the problem cannot be solved in a day. First of all, the troops must be returned to their barracks so that we can restore the peace. This conflict is a big threat to the region.”

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.