By Nazrin Gadimova
Azerbaijan’s top official expects negotiations on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to launch soon.
Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijani President’s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs, told local media that Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged the heads of states of Armenia and Azerbaijan to sit at a negotiating table to resolve the long lasting conflict.
However, he did not revealed the exact date of the meeting.
Immediately after escalation of the situation at the front-line on April 2, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group called on the parties to observe ceasefire, but Armenia continued violating truce by shelling not only Azerbaijan’s positions, but also villages adjacent to the contact line of troops. Armenia has stopped breaching ceasefire only after President Putin expressed his deepest concern over the situation.
Hasanov said Azerbaijan has ceased fire under the instruction of President Ilham Aliyev.
"We wanted to show the world that we were not interested in continuing this war, bloodshed, and death of innocent civilians," he stressed.
Azerbaijan requires the intensification of negotiations and the liberation of Azerbaijani lands based on its sovereign rights, Hasanov concluded.
Russia, which enjoys much influence on Armenia, has always been considered a key party in brokering a lasting solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Earlier, as part of annual direct line, President Putin said Russia will do everything to find a solution to the crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in turn, believes that the release of the regions around Karabakh and simultaneous addressing of the issue of its status will allow unlocking the situation in the conflict zone.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to cease operations on the line of contact starting from 12.00, April 5, as a meeting between the Chief of General Staff of Azerbaijan Armed Forces Colonel General Najmaddin Sadikov and the Chief of General Staff of Armenian Armed Forces Colonel General Yuri Khachaturyan took place by the mediation of the Russian side.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
The OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, proceeding talks based on the renewed Madrid principles. The statements promising a sincere contribution to the peaceful resolution of the conflict have become frequent, but declarative in essence.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
Nazrin Gadimova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @NazrinGadimova
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