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Nagorno-Karabakh on agenda of EU envoy's talks in Baku

26 July 2013 17:08 (UTC+04:00)
Nagorno-Karabakh on agenda of EU envoy's talks in Baku

By Sara Rajabova

Military and political situation in the region and the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict were on the agenda of a meeting on July 26 between Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev and European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus Philippe Lefort, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan.

Earlier in the day, President Ilham Aliyev received the EU envoy and the accompanying delegation. They exchanged views on the current state of Azerbaijan-EU cooperation, the negotiations aiming to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the problem of Azerbaijani refugees.

Lefort last week visited the Armenian capital Yerevan where he discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Armenian media reported.

During the meeting with the Armenian president Lefort confirmed the EU's support for the OSCE Minsk Group, which is mediating the settlement of the long-standing conflict.

Also, in June, the EU envoy visited Azerbaijan and discussed the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU, as well as the prospects for the talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with the country's officials.

Lefort said the conflict is a very important issue for the EU and the organization respects the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan, its South Caucasus neighbor. The two countries fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Armenian armed forces have since occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on a pullout from the occupied territories.

Russia, France and the U.S. have long been working to broker a solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the Minsk Group, but their efforts have been largely fruitless so far.

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