The president of Lithuania, which currently holds the rotating chair in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), says the Nagorny Karabakh conflict resolution is one of the organization’s top priorities.
President Dalia Grybauskaite discussed the perspectives for the conflict resolution during her meeting on Monday with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev.
Nagorny Karabakh, a breakaway region on Azerbaijani territory with a predominantly ethnic Armenian population, has been a sticking point in relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
“Lithuania as the OSCE chair unambiguously speaks for a peaceful resolution,” Grybauskaite said. “I told President Ilkham Aliyev that both [conflicting] sides should take steps to promote trust, such as the removal of snipers and the establishment of direct contacts … An open and benevolent dialogue is necessary.”
Aliyev informed Grybauskaite about the current state of the conflict as well as about the ongoing negotiations.
“We [Azerbaijan] hope that by displaying a constructive approach to proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group, Armenia will take a step forward and begin its withdrawal from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Peace will be established in the region after this,” Alieyv’s press service quoted him as saying after the talks with the Lithuanian president.
Nagorny Karabakh, a breakaway region on Azerbaijani territory with a predominantly ethnic Armenian population, has remained in Armenian control since the late 1980s, when the region claimed independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia. The conflict is estimated to have left more than 30,000 people dead on both sides between 1988 and 1994.
The OSCE Minsk Group, comprising Russia, France and the United States, mediates the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorny Karabakh.
BAKU, May 3 (RIA Novosti)