Baku sees no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who is on a working visit to Geneva, told RIA Novosti.
Mammadyarov said Baku does not rule out a possible meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia after the presidential elections in both countries.
He noted that the pre-election situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia was taken into account during the last meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
“We agreed to resume the talks as soon as this emotional background with the elections in both countries is over. There are interesting ideas that have already been discussed at the ministerial meetings in Vienna and Krakow. We are full of desire to actively continue the negotiation process, for which the co-chairs call,” the Azerbaijani minister added.
Mammadyarov emphasized that at the moment Baku sees no alternative to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"As long as politicians are not tired, we need to intensify the negotiation process because everyone knows what path has to be followed for troops return to their barracks, for people to their homes, and for peace to be established. We want all issues to be resolved through cooperation,” 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 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.