Azerbaijan has again insisted discussions during a forthcoming summit between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan should be substantive, focusing on a plan of action and its implementation. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated in an interview that "If a meeting is organized at the presidential level, I believe it is necessary to ensure discussion of the plan, proposed by the [OSCE Minsk Group] co-chairs, on the conflict resolution and [the plan's] implementation. This is why we always put emphasis on the need for the negotiations to be substantive," Mammadyarov stated in an interview with the Russian RIA Novosti news agency, cited by APA.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister noted that following the presidents' meeting in St. Petersburg, the Armenian side continues to resort to various excuses and provocations with the aim of preventing the resolution of the conflict through substantive negotiations.
"Even for the continuation of the negotiation process, the Armenian side is trying to put forward conditions," said Mammadyarov. "If we follow the chronology of events, it becomes clear that since June, Armenia has begun deliberately aggravating the situation before the visit of the [OSCE Minsk Group] co-chairs to the region and the meeting of the foreign ministers in Brussels."
"A two-year-old girl and her grandmother were killed, another woman was injured as a result of shelling of the Alkhanli village of Azerbaijan's Fuzuli district by Armenian armed forces on July 4 of this year," he said.
"Recent events, including the fighting in April last year, once again proved that Armenia's refusal to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories made the region face serious threats," the Foreign Minister added, stressing that Armenia "seeks by all means to continue the occupation of Azerbaijani territories and maintain the status quo".
"Therefore, various calls such as 'this conflict has no military solution, the parties must show political will and respect the ceasefire regime', must necessarily be accompanied by demands to Armenia on the withdrawal of its troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. In this context, it is necessary to exert political and diplomatic pressure on Armenia in a bid to force it to peace," added Mammadyarov.
In an interview with Armenian Television on Sunday, Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan indicated that a summit with his Azerbaijani counterpart could take place in the autumn. (read more here).
source: commonspace.eu with RIA Novosti and APA
photo: Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov (archive picture)
Referring to the regional situation, the President of the European Council said "Georgia is situated in a challenging neighbourhood, where it plays a crucial role as facilitator and bridge builder"