If Armenia holds a meeting of the Security Council in Khankendi, then there is no need to try to involve the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the negotiations, spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva told Trend on March 12.
Abdullayeva was commenting on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to the occupied Azerbaijani territories to participate in a meeting of the Armenian Security Council in Khankendi.
“I can say that everything is being put in its right place,” she said. “If the Armenian prime minister holds an extraordinary meeting of his country’s Security Council in Azerbaijan’s occupied Khankendi city, then there is no need to make efforts to involve the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country in the negotiations. The prime minister, who voiced the idea of “Karabakh Armenians”, put an end to the word game, saying that the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh region are the Armenian community, rather than the “nation”.”
“The format of negotiations on the conflict settlement, which has continued for many years, is clear,” Abdullayeva said. “This issue was determined upon the OSCE’s consensus decision. Both communities of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of our country were indicated as the interested sides in the CSCE Helsinki Document 1992.”
“As for the principles of the conflict settlement, it is impossible to misinterpret the principles clearly stated in the CSCE Helsinki Final Act, to which the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group refer in their recent statement,” she said. “The conflict settlement principles were clarified in the OSCE chairman’s statement during the OSCE Lisbon Summit in 1996, proposed by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and unanimously adopted by all member-states, except Armenia. Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders can not be the subject of discussion.”
“It is high time to take concrete steps towards the withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and the return of Azerbaijani IDPs to these territories,” Abdullayeva said.
“As the prime minister stated, he won the confidence of the Armenian people and, thus, obtained a full mandate,” she said. “Having shown political will, now it is time for him to clearly demonstrate his interest in bringing peace, progress and sustainable development to the region. It is obvious that a party interested in ensuring peace and tranquility will not occupy the territory of other country.”
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.