Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov says Baku welcomes proposals from any country to help settle the Nagorno - Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Mammadyarov made the remarks at a Wednesday joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in response to a question about Iran’s offers to mediate in the dispute. He, however, said that Azerbaijan wants the resolution of the conflict “to start with the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories, ” Azerbaijan Press Agency(APA) reported. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia claim the territory of Nagorno - Karabakh, which is largely populated by Armenians but located in Azerbaijan. Ethnic Armenian forces took control over the enclave, which accounts for 16 percent of Azerbaijan, in the early 1990s during a six - year war with the country that took place from February 1988 to May 1994. The conflict left an estimated 30,000 people dead and one million others displaced before the two sides agreed to a cease - fire in 1994. However, a peace accord has never been signed and the dispute still remains unsettled. Iran has on several occasions offered to mediate in the dispute.
“We believe that the Karabakh issue will be resolved through dialog and the commitment of both sides to justice, and Tehran is ready to negotiate with them within this framework, ” Iran ' s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a joint press conference with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in November, 2010.
On Wednesday, the Azeri foreign minister also expressed his country’s dissatisfaction with the activity of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, saying Azerbaijan saw no improvement in the process of the settlement. “We would be so glad if any progress was achieved by the mediation of these countries (OSCE Minsk Group) during this period, but we do not see such a progress and surely are dissatisfied with the activity of the co-chairs,” he added. The OSCE Minsk Group was created in 1992 by the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, now Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE]) to help find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The Minsk Group is headed by a co-chairmanship consisting of France, Russia and the United States, but it also includes participating states of Belarus, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Turkey as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.