Azerbaijan says ready to any format talks with Armenia
Armenia hasn’t confirmed its consent yet for the 3+2 format meeting (three co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group and Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers) within the 23rd meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg Dec. 8-9, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.
He made the remarks at a joint briefing with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Baku Dec. 3.
“Yesterday [Dec. 2] I talked to Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk on this issue and he didn’t give a clear response,” Mammadyarov said. “Azerbaijan is ready to any contacts with Armenia, in any format. However, the holding of the meeting in Hamburg with participation of foreign ministers would show a serious approach to this issue.”
He went on to add that a certain standstill is currently observed in the negotiation process.
“Following the meeting in St. Petersburg, we expected a certain revival in the negotiation process, but Armenia is trying to avoid the talks in every possible way,” Mammadyarov added.
A presidential meeting between Azerbaijan and Armenia was held June 20 in St. Petersburg, Russia, with mediation of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
“There were always tensions on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops and the presence of Armenian Armed Forces on Azerbaijan’s occupied territories is the reason for that,” Mammadyarov said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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