By Gunay Camal
The withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani territories should be ensured, said Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
He made the remarks addressing a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Eastern Partnership countries in Brussels May 23.
The recent escalation on the frontline has signaled that the status quo in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may lead to violence and severe military clashes, said Mammadyarov.
"Everyone is fed up with the status quo, which is not reliable and remains unsustainable and unacceptable. Demilitarization and withdrawal of troops has to be ensured," he added.
Azerbaijan's foreign minister pointed out that moving beyond this situation by means of constructive negotiations can bring the desired peace and stability to the region.
"However, the statements threatening Azerbaijan with "dirty bombs" bears no indication of any intention of Armenia in this regard," said Mammadyarov.
"In the meantime, we call on international community to closely scrutinize Armenia's disobedience to commitments taken under international conventions on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," he said. "This is critically important in view of previous and recently discovered notorious criminal cases related to trafficking of radioactive materials from Armenia to potential third countries."
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.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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