Azerbaijan, EU mull co-op prospects

Azerbaijan, EU mull co-op prospects
# 09 December 2016 07:35 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with Herbert Salber, the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus on the sidelines of the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg Dec. 9.

At the meeting, the sides had a broad exchange of views on the perspectives of Azerbaijan-European Union relationship and the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Minister Mammadyarov informed his interlocutor about the current status of the negotiations process on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

He added that the unlawful presence of the armed forces of Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan remains the main cause of escalation in the conflict zone and is the major impediment to political settlement of the conflict.

Assessing the high-level substantive discussions in Vienna and St. Petersburg meetings as positive steps in the right direction, Mammadyarov emphasized that the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan will significantly improve the overall security environment in the whole region.

Mammadyarov said that pursuing a destructive policy, Armenia avoids the substantive negotiations, strengthens its military build-up in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, illegally changes the demographic, cultural and physical character of these territories and consequently attempts to maintain the current status-quo.

Touching upon the people's diplomacy efforts carried out with EU’s support, Mammadyarov underscored the importance of fostering a dialogue between the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

In turn, Herbert Salber expressed his gratitude for detailed information and updated about the EU-backed public projects aimed at contributing to the resolution of the conflict.