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Baku: Yerevan avoids talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

1 December 2016 15:39 (UTC+04:00)
Baku: Yerevan avoids talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

By Rashid Shirinov

Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated that Yerevan avoids negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution.

"Yerevan has not yet responded to the France’s proposal to hold the 3+2 format meeting [three co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group and Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers] in Hamburg,” he said addressing a briefing on December 1.

“It means that Armenia avoids the negotiations, rendering no support for the peace process,” the minister added.

Mammadyarov previously said that Baku backs France’s proposal to hold meeting on Nagorno-Karabakh in Hamburg in the 3+2 format.

While commenting on the statements of the Armenian side that Nagorno-Karabakh must be either independent or annexed to Armenia, Mammadyarov said that such statements play a negative role in the negotiation process, if Azerbaijan and Armenia talk about peace negotiations.

“It is not a secret that the negotiations are held on the basis of the document which, first of all, points out that the Armenian armed forces must be gradually withdrawn from the occupied Azerbaijani territories,” he said.

As for the status of Nagorno-Karabakh region, Mammadyarov said that the Azerbaijani community must return to its native lands to determine the status.

"The status should not be discussed without the participation of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.

Armenia's territorial claims in the late 1980s accompanied with bitter military aggression resulted in the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh, and seven surrounding regions. More than a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and IDPs in the aftermath of the war between the two South Caucasus republics.

In 1994, the OSCE Budapest Summit established the so-called Minsk Group to mediate between the two countries. However, the negotiations have been largely fruitless so far despite the efforts of the co-chair countries for over 20 years.

Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs, dubbed the Madrid Principles.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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