FM: Azerbaijan ready to continue substantive talks on Karabakh conflict settlement

Tue 23 Oct 2018 07:57 GMT | 11:57 Local Time

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The foreign minister noted that Azerbaijan pursues a balanced foreign policy

Azerbaijan is ready to continue substantive negotiations aimed at beginning the process of phased settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“Moreover, if you follow the recent negotiations, you will notice that namely Baku has repeatedly voiced the position on the need to promote a responsible dialogue aimed at ending the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, creation of conditions for the safe and decent return of IDPs, including representatives of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh, to their homes, followed by ensuring broad rights of self-government for the population of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, consisting of its Armenian and Azerbaijani communities,” said Mammadyarov.

The foreign minister noted that the conversation at the highest level held between President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the last CIS summit in Dushanbe is a good example of Azerbaijan’s readiness for meaningful dialogue.

“Alas, the change of power and the political turbulence observed so far in Yerevan have slowed down the process to a certain extent,” Mammadyarov said. “We hope that the Armenian leadership will soon be able to demonstrate political will to continue the negotiation process within the existing format and based on a well-known agenda.”

Further, Mammadyarov noted that Azerbaijan pursues a balanced foreign policy.

“In this regard, we are developing an active bilateral dialogue and mutually beneficial equal cooperation with all the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of course, with the exception of Armenia, which continues to carry out military aggression against Azerbaijan by occupying the internationally recognized territories of my country, where it conducted bloody and total ethnic cleansing against Azerbaijani population,” said Mammadyarov.

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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