By Akbar Mammadov
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has described as “ridiculous” Yerevan’s claims that Armenia has not conducted negotiations based on a step-by-step settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, which claims that the country has not conducted negotiations based on a step-by-step settlement of the conflict since 2018, is ridiculous, even if it is evident that this statement was made to calm down the local public,” Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on April 23.
The ministry noted that “it would be more correct for the Armenian Foreign Ministry to be honest and inform its population about the ongoing peace process on the settlement of the conflict.”
The ministry stressed that 10 meetings have taken place between the foreign ministers of the two countries, including the last video conference held on 21 April since the change of power in Armenian in 2018.
“Azerbaijan's position on the conflict settlement process and the main principles of the negotiations has always been voiced, including at the highest level. The position of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, which carries out the mediation mission, was also clearly expressed in their statements, including the statement from March 9, 2019.
“In all of them, the elements of a step-by-step settlement of the conflict are clearly visible," the ministry said.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry added that the negotiations between the two sides continue in the same format and on the same agenda.
"Otherwise, the Armenian Foreign Minister, who made a statement on April 21, would not have attended the video conference and participated in the discussions a few hours later", the ministry added.
It should also be noted that Armenian Foreign Ministry's Spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said in a press conference on April 23 that since 2018, Armenia has not been negotiating on the basis of a phased approach to settlement.
Earlier, on April 21, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan during a video-conferecne with his Azerbaijani counterpart on April 21, rejected stage-by-stage resolution of the Nagonro-Karabakh conflict, which includes the liberation of a number of areas around Nagorno-Karabakh and the unblocking of transport, economic and other communications.
Mnatsakanyan was commenting on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement about the step-by-step settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict made earlier.
Azerbaijani FM's Spokeswoman Leyla Abdullayeva and Presidential Aide Hikmat Hajiyev slammed Mnatsakanyan statement about stage-by-stage resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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