Israeli envoy names dialogue as best way to solve Karabakh conflict

By: Laman Sadigova

Israeli Ambassador to Baku Dan Stav believes that the best way to solve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is through direct negotiations between the two sides.

“I fully understand the importance that Azerbaijan attaches to the solution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he told Trend. “After all, this is about 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories, Karabakh and 7 surrounding regions.”

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.

Stav said that Israel itself is involved in conflicts, and has been able to solve some of them.

“We are also aware of that for more than 20 years the international involvement hasn’t yielded any results,” he said. “We also understand the price of conflict for human life, both for Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

What is needed, according to Stav, is a constructive, result-oriented dialogue, not just for the sake of dialogue.

The ambassador further expressed hope that both sides will be able to find an acceptable solution to the existing conflict.

Armenia continues the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal. Peace talks brokered by mediators from Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.

The OSCE Minsk Group, in view of its brokering position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has repeatedly called on the belligerents to restraint from hostilities and to exert their best efforts in negotiating a solution to the conflict.