Elmar Mammadyarov to OSCE Minsk Group: it's necessary to hold substantive talks with Yerevan
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov urged to hold substantive negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, despite tensions persisting along the line of contact.
Speaking on the outcome of the talks held this year with Armenia's Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Mammadyarov told Izvestia that Azerbaijan is "only waiting for results." He noted, though, that he was disappointed with the latest round of talks with Yerevan in New York.
"If we want to make progress and really want to achieve a political solution to that dispute, then, of course, we need to start with what is called ‘substantive’ negotiations, so that there is some substance, on the basis of which the negotiations are conducted," the diplomat said.
The Minsk Group and its three co-chairs are the key OSCE players in solving the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, Mammadyarov noted. "We raised this issue briefly [on the sidelines of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers]. We all understand that unresolved conflicts only create obstacles for any activities, including economic and humanitarian ones. All ten countries, including Azerbaijan and Armenia, agreed that it was essential to find a speedy solution to that crisis. We should recognize, however, that major work on the settlement is done within the OSCE Minsk Group, and not through the CIS," the diplomat pointed out.
He said that despite tensions persisting along the line of contact, the parties have been able to carry on serious negotiations to iron out the current issues. "First of all, [it is essential] to make sure that troops return to their barracks and those people who fled their homes could return. After that, we could tackle all remaining issues. We tell our co-chairs all the time that we have no choice other than to sit down and hold substantive negotiations with Yerevan on a document, which is on the table today," Mammadyarov explained.