BAKU: Elmar Mammadyarov: "The Co-Chairing Countries Have Presented S


Azeri Press Agency
Dec 6 2008

Helsinki. Tamara Grigoryeva – APA. Foreign ministers of OSCE Minsk
Group co-chairing countries presented some amendments to Madrid
proposals at the meeting with Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov told journalists, APA’s
special correspondent reports from Helsinki. He said they had analyzed
the amendments and the issue might be discussed in the next meetings
of both foreign ministers and presidents. Elmar Mammadyarov said the
next meeting of the presidents would be held the following year. Asked
whether the final declaration of OSCE Ministerial Council would include
the issue on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, Elmar Mammadyarov
said Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was not questionable.

"This principle is also reflected in Moscow Declaration. The
declaration says that the conflict will be solved basing on the
international legal norms, adopted resolutions and decisions. Those
resolutions and decisions unambiguously recognize Azerbaijan’s
territorial integrity. I do not believe that any country or
an international organization doubt Azerbaijan’s territorial
integrity. The only country trying to do it is Armenia," he said.

Asked about Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s statement
that Azerbaijan did not interpret Moscow Declaration properly, Elmar
Mammadyarov underlined that he did not want to go into details.

"He may say something on internal political purposes. I do not want
to speak about it. You can show the Declaration to the experts on
international law if you want. They can interpret what is written in
the document," he said.

Answering question about impact of intensifying negotiations on
Azerbaijan’s position the minister said: "As a Foreign Minister, I want
peaceful solution to the conflict. There is such opportunity so far
and Moscow Declaration enhanced my hopes. Someone can make statement
for the domestic policy, but the document is in the limelight and
there is Russian president’s signature there".

Reacting to the US co-chair Matthew Bryza’s statement about de-facto
participation of Nagorno Karabakh Armenians in the negotiations,
Mammadyarov said there could be a stage of discussions between the
Nagorno Karabakh Armenian and Azerbaijani communities only after the
withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories, opening
of communications and returning of IDPs to their homelands. "They
should determine Nagorno Karabakh’s status together – of course,
within Azerbaijan".

Regarding the referendum about Nagorno Karabakh’s status, Mammadyarov
said any event should be prepared before it takes place. "Legal essence
of this issue is out of question while there are no Azerbaijanis in
Nagorno Karabakh. Armenians said they held referendum in Karabakh. What
referendum do they speak about? A referendum in state of war at the
point of gun? Such referendums can be held every day. We propose
appropriate conditions for it and our position looks more topical on
the back of latest events in the Caucasus. We should achieve progress,
communications should be opened and the people should return home".