Baku – APA. Turkey can play a positive role in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, TASS agency reported Oct. 14 citing Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
"The fact that Turkey can play a positive role, ensuring the unblocking of Nagorno-Karabakh, ensuring normal economic cooperation in the region - this is a major factor that we always have in mind," he told reporters.
"If Armenia and Turkey get back to the implementation of their agreements without reference to the Karabakh conflict, we will only be glad. But our feeling is that progress in the Karabakh settlement will be crucial for seeing Armenian-Turkish relations normalized," he said.
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 OSCE 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, US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.