Yerevan, Baku to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Riga

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be on the agenda of talks between the Armenian and Azerbaijani officials on the sidelines of the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit, reported RIA Novosti referring to a European Union official’s comment.

Attending the EaP summit of the EU in Riga, Latvia later this month, representatives from Yerevan and Baku will likely sit to discuss the unresolved conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

An EU official, who wished to remain anonymous, said that either the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan or the two South Caucasus nations’ foreign ministers will meet as part of the talks to be held at the EU event in Riga. He added that the existing format on the conflict resolution, which the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe stands for will unlikely change.

Riga is due to host the summit of the EU and six members of the EaP project, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, on May 21-22.

“We are absolutely confident about the efforts that the Russian, American and French colleagues exert towards resolving the matter. But, unfortunately, it is a very difficult issue,” the unnamed official said.

The Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents periodically meet in the margins of negotiations, aimed at settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, the talks have so far failed to produce any genuine results, given the Armenian side’s inclination to remain belligerent rather than engage in peace-making.

The latest sitting between President Ilham Aliyev and President Serzh Sargsyan took place in Paris, France back in October last year through the French president’s initiative. Paris talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been assessed to bring some breakthrough in the stalled conflict. But the Armenian army helicopter’s incursion into Azerbaijan airspace nearly three weeks after the meeting in France ended up in more fiery outcomes when Azerbaijani troops knocked the chopper down in a retaliatory move.

Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh territory was turned into a battlefield and zone of aggravated tensions after Armenia sent its troops to occupy Azerbaijan’s lands in the early 1990s. As a result, 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory stands under military occupation of Armenia.

Baku’s diligence in view of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is well seen in the international arena, however it is yet to receive relevant feedbacks from Yerevan.

For the past two decades, and despite calls from the international community, Armenia has refused to withdraw its troops and retreat within its national borders. The OSCE has attempted to foster a peaceful resolution to this conflict amid Armenia’s persistent derailments.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS