Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs to meet in Moscow

31 March 2014 10:25 (UTC+04:00)

By Sara Rajabova

The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers agreed to meet in Moscow in early April.

Foreign Ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian will meet in preparation for a meeting of the two countries' presidents in the near future, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs said in press release.

OSCE Minsk Group mediators - Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Jacques Faure of France, and James Warlick of the U.S. met separately with President Serzh Sargsian of Armenia and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan in The Hague on March 23-24.

Personal representative of the Chairman in Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk, also attended the meetings.

The co-chairs informed the presidents of the work done with the foreign ministers on the issues raised during the summit meeting in November.

They emphasized the need to avoid violence on the border and the line of contact, and encouraged the sides to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric that could increase tensions in the region.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.

The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.

Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.