By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov met with Toivo Klaar, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, on June 3.
Mammadyarov informed the EU Special Representative about the current state of the negotiation process on the resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in Moscow.
The minister pointed out the fact that during the last visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the region, an Azerbaijani serviceman was killed by a sniper shot opened by the Armenian armed forces, noting that such bloody acts undermine the negotiation process. The Azerbaijani FM stressed that the realities on the ground are still unchanged.
Mammadyarov further added that the armed forces of Armenia must withdraw their troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and there is no alternative for the future development of the region.
Toivo Klaar, in turn, reaffirmed the importance of substantial negotiations and noted that the European Union is ready to contribute to the preparation of the populations for peace.
The sides also discussed the regional issues of mutual interest.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the two South Caucasus countries arose in 1988 due to the territorial claims of Armenia against Azerbaijan. Since the war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh 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. From April to November 1993, four resolutions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were adopted by the UN Security Council. All of them expressed support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and spelled out a requirement for the immediate withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
To this day, Armenia refuses to comply with these resolutions.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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