Baku ready for meeting of Russian, Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs
- 09 February 2017
Baku stands ready to take part in the Moscow meeting of Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers on the settlement of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told RIA Novosti.
The minister noted that no proposal has yet been made regarding the meeting’s date.
“When I was in Moscow, Sergey Lavrov proposed to hold a trilateral meeting of Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers. I expressed my readiness. However, this meeting requires a coordinated schedule,” Mammadyarov said.
The Azerbaijani FM stressed that no party, except Armenia, is satisfied with the status quo.
“A few times at the meetings of the ministers with my participation, we were pretty close to break deadlock in the conflict. The problems on the negotiating table should gradually be cleaned up,” he said.
Mammadyarov regarded the presence of Armenian troops in Azerbaijani territory as a major obstacle to the conflict’s settlement.
“First of all I want to say that the soldiers just have to return to the barracks and then it will open up enormous opportunities. It’s a part of the plan,” 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.