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Karabakh conflict settlement to boost regional coop: envoy

15 October 2013 09:34 (UTC+04:00)
Karabakh conflict settlement to boost regional coop: envoy

By Sara Rajabova

Resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will open up new opportunities for regional cooperation and bring lasting stability and prosperity to the region, Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United Kingdom Fakhraddin Gurbanov said in his letter addressed to The Economist magazine.

In the letter, written in response to the article "Nagorno-Karabakh: a festering wound", which was published on October 4, Gurbanov said the continued occupation of the Azerbaijani territory by Armenian armed forces threatens peace and stability in the South Caucasus region, the Azerbaijani embassy in London said.

In general, this is a source of instability for the future of the region, Gurbanov wrote.

The ambassador also said it is necessary for the Armenian forces to withdraw from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and for all the displaced persons to return home. This is important for resolving the conflict.

For over two decades, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in conflict which emerged over Armenia's territorial claims against its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. A fragile ceasefire has been in place since 1994, but long-standing efforts by US, Russian and French mediators have been largely fruitless so far. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on its pullout from the neighboring country's territories.

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