“Principles for Karabakh conflict’s settlement already exist”

The settlement of any conflict starts with the rapprochement of the parties’ positions on some common base, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov told reporters in Baku May 6.

Regarding the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement, there is no need to invent this base, it already exists, and consists of the principles and norms of international law and the well-known resolutions of the UN Security Council, he said.

These resolutions constitute a set of principles and requirements, including the liberation of the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia, as well as ensuring the return of the refugees and IDPs to their home land, etc., he added.

Azimov noted that if this base is recognized by Armenia, one can move forward in the conflict’s settlement.

For further progress, a concrete plan of measures and actions is needed, Azimov said, noting that such plans were drawn up in 1992 and 1993, but their implementation failed because Armenia, which occupied Azerbaijan’s territories, opposed it.

He said that one can often hear from the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs that they are discussing issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement with the parties of the conflict and sometimes the co-chairs hint at the necessity to agree upon principles or approaches for the conflict’s settlement.

He added that a schedule of concerted actions is needed to begin the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

"Of course, this should be done under security guarantees, one can also talk about this, because there is accumulated experience, there are tools envisaged by the decisions made at the Budapest Summit of the OSCE in 1994,” he said.

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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