Paris meeting, positive move in resolving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
By Sara Rajabova
The meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Paris to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be considered as a positive move.
Fikrat Sadikhov, a political scientist and professor of Western University, made the remark in an interview with Trend news agency commenting on the recent meeting of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsan.
"In any case, the meeting was a positive development. It demonstrated the effectiveness of Azerbaijani diplomacy and its desire to resolve this long-lasting conflict peacefully," Sadikhov said.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting on October 27 with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen to discuss the settlement process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The two presidents held a face to face meeting, which followed by another joint meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
Afterwards, a joint meeting of President Hollande, President Aliyev, and President Sargsyan with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen was held.
"As for the meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, I think that those pragmatically assessing and making predictions did not expect any radical changes at this meeting. The problem is too complex and it was impossible to bring together a variety of geopolitical interests in one meeting," Sadikhov said.
Sadikhov noted that the agreement reached between the two sides on the exchange of information on missing persons, hostages and prisoners of war was a progress by itself- though little.
He noted that the French president has expressed hope to begin works on a comprehensive peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Sadikhov went on to say that the revealed details of the Paris meeting showed that it was a positive development.
"The meeting created an opportunity for Azerbaijan to express its stance on the conflict, to pass through the most painful points of conflict and to recall the occupation of Azerbaijani territories. And in this aspect, I think, in general, the meeting can be considered as a successful step towards the next stage of search for further ways to resolve the issue," Sadikhov said.
The precarious cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia was reached after a lengthy war that displaced over a million Azerbaijanis and has been in place between the two South Caucasus countries since 1994.
Since the hostilities, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions on Armenia's withdrawal from the Azerbaijani territory, but they have not been enforced to this day.