Azerbaijan committed to peaceful talks over Karabakh problem -pres

ITAR-TASS News Agency
May 7, 2004 Friday

Azerbaijan committed to peaceful talks over Karabakh problem -pres

By Sevinzh Abdullayeva and Viktor Shulman


Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev said his country remained
committed to peaceful negotiations over the settlement of the Nagorny
Karabakh conflict.

“We believe that the problem may be resolved as a result of these
talks,” Aliyev told reporters on Friday.

He noted that Baku’s position remain unchanged: the occupied
territory of the country should be freed, while refugees should
return home. Next, it would be possible to decide on the status of
Nagorny Karabakh.

The president denied the reports by some Armenian sources alleging
the existence of accords between Baku and Yerevan.

“Azerbaijan and Armenia never had any agreements,” Aliyev stated. In
his view, mediators’ efforts are necessary to bring the parties’
positions closer.

The OSCE Minsk group on Nagorny Karabakh should do a mission of
mediation, without acting like observers on the sidelines, he said.

According to the Azerbaijani president, if the two parties are unable
to come to terms, mediators should bring forward their proposals. At
the same time, he believes that along with the Minsk group which has
a mandate for mediation, influential international organizations,
such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Council of
Europe should also show an active position.