By Sara Rajabova
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been discussed in Washington with the participation of Azerbaijani and Armenian representatives during an event organized by the Jamestown Foundation, a major think-tank in the United States.
The event, titled 'The United Nations and the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict: Back to the Basics', is dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Security Council's first resolution on the long-standing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Speakers included Azerbaijan's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Tofig Musayev and Senior Research Fellow of the Heritage Foundation Ariel Cohen, the Azerbaijani Embassy in the United States told Trend news agency.
Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Frederick Starr, the commentator of the event, said peace in the South Caucasus region depends on cooperation of the three countries of the South Caucasus, referring to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.
In his speech regarding international legal relevance and significance of the UN Security Council resolution, Tofig Musayev emphasized the necessity of following the rules and principles of international law from the viewpoint of protecting security and peace.
Musayev said one of the main factors preventing a solution of the conflict is Armenia's failure to implement the UNSC's four resolutions urging a withdrawal of the occupying Armenian armed forces from the territories of Azerbaijan, and stressed that Armenia's unconstructive position has no basis under international law.
Analyzing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the context of regional realities and position of the international community, the Heritage Foundation's Cohen said the U.S., as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, has to make more effort to resolve the conflict.
The participants of the Washington event voiced proposals to advance the peace process, including one that called for raising funds for the rehabilitation programs in the occupied territories.
In the meantime, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu discussed the strengthening of the OSCE Minsk Group's activity and the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in Istanbul, Anadolu news agency reported.
"The Turkish and Armenian relations are of crucial importance, which need a much more comprehensive approach to be initiated. The Minsk process should be provided with an ever-increasing momentum and the invaded territory of Azerbaijan is an issue that we need certain advancement within," Davutoglu said after the meeting.
Turkey and the U.S. will continue to touch on those issues in the future, he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against the neighboring country. Since a lengthy war between the two South Caucasus countries that displaced over a million Azerbaijanis and ended with the signing of a precarious cease-fire in 1994, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. Peace talks brokered by the Minsk Group co-chairs have been largely fruitless so far.
The negotiations are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles, also known as Basic Principles. The document envisions a return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control; determining the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh; a corridor linking Armenia to the region; and the right of all internally displaced persons to return home.