BAKU: Azerbaijan Hopes France Will Intensify Its Efforts To Resolve


Trend News Agency
July 14 2008

Azerbaijan is hopeful that France will intensify its efforts as a
co-chairman of OSCE Minsk Group to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

"We hope that France will increase efforts to help achieve the soonest
possible and just solution to Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia
over Nagorno-Karabakh, sparked as a result of military aggression
against our country," President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said in
his congratulatory message on Bastille Day to his French counterpart
Nicolas Sarkozy.

The congratulatory message described the relations between Azerbaijan
and France as ‘successfully developing’. "The growing friendly
relations between our two countries and profitable cooperation in the
spheres of mutual interest are the striking example of development
of our bilateral relations," the message said.

"We are pleased with France’s interest and attention toward our country
and its intention to contribute to solving problems that Azerbaijan
faces. From this viewpoint, France’s intentions to contribute to the
deepening of Azerbaijan’s relations with European Union during its
chairmanship in the organization are of great significance for us,"
the message said.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in
1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan
lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December
1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and
Nagorno-Karabakh’s seven surrounding regions. In 1994, Azerbaijan
and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active
hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia,
France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful, but fruitless