Azerbaijan praises Russian stance on N.-Karabakh conflict

Interfax, Russia
April 18 2009

Azerbaijan praises Russian stance on N.-Karabakh conflict

BAKU April 18

An aide to Azerbaijan’s president praised a statement by Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev that a future settlement of the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be based on international law and on
decisions by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Medvedev’s statement is of special significance, Fuad Akhundov, head
of section at the Azeri president’s office, told Interfax.

"First of all because it is a fair and honest position. Secondly
because, after the Meyendorff meeting [a meeting at Meyendorff Castle,
a Russian presidential retreat outside Moscow] between the three
presidents – Russian, Azeri and Armenian – on November 2 and the
signature of the Moscow declaration at co-chairmanship level, attempts
have been made – quite successful, let’s face it, – to shift emphases
in comments on that document and in interpretations of it," Akhundov
said.

The aide was referring to the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group, an OSCE
body mediating in the conflict, who represent Russia, France and the
United States.

From this standpoint is it extremely important, Akhundov argued, that
Medvedev has taken back all parties to the conflict and all the
mediators to "the initial spirit and letter of the declaration signed
in November, in other words he stressed that, so to speak, it is the
package as a whole and not individual elements of it that are in
force."

Akhundov credited Russia with being the most active and successful
mediator in the conflict and insisted that the other Minsk Group
members support Russia’s efforts.

"This especially applies to the EU [European Union], a highly
influential structure that today lays claim to a new role in our
region and suggests new initiatives and projects. I would like to
point out that the Azeri president [Ilham Aliyev] has put special
emphasis on the positive role of Russia in seeking to settle the
conflict and has expressed gratitude for its attempts to bring the
parties to the conflict closer together," Akhundov said.

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