By Rashid Shirinov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov plans to visit Baku and Yerevan early next week, where the Armenian-Azerbiajani Nagorno-Karabkah conflict will be discussed among other topics.
"My visits to Yerevan and Baku are planned for the very beginning of next week. First of all, these visits are timed to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and, respectively, between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he said at a press conference on November 14.
The Russian FM added that the agenda will include discussion of bilateral relations with each of the countries, and also existing problems.
“We will talk about regional and international problems. Among them, we will try to understand where we are in efforts for Karabakh settlement after the recent meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents,” Lavrov said.
Russia, along with the U.S. and France, is a co-chair country of the OSCE Minsk Group established to broker a peace to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
At the meeting in Geneva on October 16, organized by the OSCE Minsk Group, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to take measures to intensify the negotiation process on the settlement of the conflict and to take additional steps to reduce tensions along the frontline.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict 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 regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Until now, Armenia controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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