Yerevan turns down offer for creating working group on peace deal

By: Mushvig Mehdiyev

At a time when efforts have intensified in view of solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia has officially refused an offer to create a working group under the Great Peace Agreement, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister reported.

Referring to the locked settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov said there is no room for optimism in view of this issue, since Armenia remains true to its aggressive rhetoric.

“Old arguments and old issues took the stage again. Perhaps, Armenia’s rulers attempt to play domestic audience for its purposes,” Mammadyarov added.

As part of the active involvement of Azerbaijan to see manifest the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Azerbaijan’s position remains unchanged when it comes to the Great Peace Agreement, said Mammadyarov.

The Great Peace Agreement envisages the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based primarily on Madrid Principles, which includes the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied lands as a first condition to end Armenia-Azerbaijan dispute.

Notwithstanding the handshake of top Armenian and Azerbaijani officials on the proposed principles, no progress towards the deadline of the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories has reportedly been achieved, mainly due to Armenia’s reluctance to build peace.

Despite Armenian rulers’ systematic hindrances, Azerbaijani officials have, nevertheless, exerted all-out efforts to resolve all outstanding issues as to promote regional stability and peace, in keeping with Baku’s commitment to its people and the region. And yet Yerevan remains stubborn.

Earlier last week, Mammadyarov reiterated Azerbaijan’s readiness to start active and comprehensive talks in an effort to succeed in brokering a breakthrough agreement towards the resolution of the conflict.

Furthermore, the OSCE Minsk Group supports calls for coming to a consensus in regard to the kick-off of talks under the conditions provided by the Great Peace Agreement.

Calls for an immediate start of peace talks were included in a statement issued by the co-chairs of the Minsk Group following their meeting with the Armenian foreign minister in Munich on March 6. But Armenia chose instead to invent numerous lies and pretexts to feed the stalemate and shy away from the settlement process of the 20-year-old conflict.

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. As a result, 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory stands under military occupation. 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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

SOURCE: Azer News