By Akbar Mamamdov
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov has said that Azerbaijan is committed to the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through negotiations, but it is important that the negotiations are conducted based on essence and focused on concrete results.
Bayramov made the remarks during the phone conversation with EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs Josep Borrel and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan on July 22 during the discussion of the recent cross-border clashes.
Bayramov said that Azerbaijan does not participate in the negotiations only for the sake of negotiations, adding that negotiations have been going on for many years, but no concrete results have been achieved in eliminating the consequences of the conflict.
It was highlighted that the Armenian side attempts to prolong the negotiations under various pretexts.
During the phone conversation, Bayramov informed Borrel about Armenian armed forces’ recent attack on Azerbaijan’s border district with the use of artillery installations.
Bayramov stressed the importance of fulfilling the demands of the international community, including the UN Security Council resolutions and the EU's firm position on the settlement of the conflict, withdrawing the occupying forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan and restoring Azerbaijan's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
The minister also noted that 76-year-old civilian was killed during Armenian attack on Azerbaijan’s civilian infrastructure.
Furthermore, the minister informed Borrel that Armenia seeks to threaten the geostrategic projects passing near the border and emphasized that the root of the tension is the policy of aggression pursued by Armenia against Azerbaijan.
In turn, Josep Borrel stressed the importance of preventing the escalation of tensions, including the threat to important infrastructure in the region. He also underlined the need to restore substantive negotiations on the settlement of the conflict through the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
The cross-border fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan started on July 12 with Armenia's firing artillery at Azerbaijan's positions in the direction of Tovuz region. Azerbaijani army lost 12 servicemen as a result of Armenian attacks. One civilian was killed as a result of artillery fire by the Armenian armed forces.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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