Lavrov eyes 'close' solution in Karabakh

We should make more efforts to find a political solution, says Russia's FM

Lavrov eyes 'close' solution in Karabakh

World Bulletin / News Desk

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that they were very close to a solution of the issue of Karabakh, the Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory which briefly erupted into a hot war last week, killing dozens on both sides.

In a press conference after a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan, in Azerbaijan's capital Baku, Lavrov said that he had spoken to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign Minister Elmar Memmedyarov about the Karabakh issue on Wednesday.

"I am going to talk to (Armenian FM) Eduard Nalbandyan about this issue tomorrow as well," Lavrov added.

"The constituent parts of the agreement (over the Karabakh issue) are on our desk. We are very close to a solution," he stressed.

Lavrov also said they should prevent Azerbaijani and Armenian snipers from engaging with each other. "We should exert further efforts to find a political solution."

Memmedyarov said the Karabakh issue should be solved as soon as possible. "First of all, the Armenian army should withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territories," he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the Karabakh issue should be solved under UN principles and international law, adding that the current cease-fire between Azerbaijan and Armenia should continue until a permanent solution is found.

Armenian militia have occupied Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region since 1993, similar to how pro-Russian militia have illegally occupied parts of Ukraine since 2014.

Three UN Security Council resolutions (853, 874 and 884) and UN General Assembly resolutions 19/13 and 57/298 refer to Karabakh as being part of Azerbaijan.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) also refers to the territory as being under the occupation of Armenian forces.

- Regional stability stressed -

The foreign ministers issued a final statement saying that they had agreed to further develop and strengthen their intergovernmental relations on the basis of principles of equality, mutual respect, and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

"The ministers of foreign affairs confirmed their adherence to the Charter of the United Nations and universally recognized principles and norms of international law. In this context, they also confirmed their determination to facilitate the settlement of the conflicts in the region," the statement said.

"The parties pointed out the importance of intensification of the fight against new challenges and threats to the regional stability and security and, in this regard, expressed their readiness to closely interact with the view to oppose terrorism, extremism, transnational organized crime and drug trafficking," the statement added.

The diplomats also agreed to accelerate construction of the Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway to connect Russia to Azerbaijan and Iran.

The completed railway is expected to carry 6 million tons of cargo a year to start, later rising to 15-20 million tons per year.

On the project, the statement said that the parties recognize that safe and reliable transit routes will promote new opportunities for  development of the region and facilitate the prosperity of their people.

"The parties confirmed their adherence to the diversification of automobile roads, rail, and marine ways and means of delivery of goods on the basis of principles of market economy, free competition, and mutual benefit. The ministers of foreign affairs pointed out the importance of further promotion and support of the projects on the development of the North-South transport corridor," the statement added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Nisan 2016, 09:55