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Azerbaijan not to change its position in Karabakh conflict settlement

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Turan 03/02/2006 - Present visit of co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to the region is next step for preparation to the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Paris on February 10, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Araz Azimov told at the press-conference.

The talks of mediators with the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister and the President Aliyev were regarding elimination of "certain hardships" on the eve of the Paris meeting, Azimov said. Increased attention of the international community and the desire of mediator-countries to obtain progress in the conflict's settling is felt, he said. But we need additional efforts for elimination of problems in the positions of the sides. Mediators have been informed that Azerbaijan will not change its position on the questions which will be discussed in Paris, Azimov said.

He added that final point of the conflict's settling is to "provide security in Azerbaijan and in the region". It will help in normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, the conflict has some "extreme moments" and it is not possible top provide full balance. First of all, responsibility of the sides should not be equalized. Nagorno Karabakh is Azerbaijan's constituent part and the world community recognized this. Armenia's demand to separate Nagorno Karabakh from Azerbaijan is an "extreme point".

Baku suggested re-integration of Nagorno Karabakh into the political and economic system of Azerbaijan. One of the main points of settlement is liberation of occupied territories of Azerbaijan. This process will be implemented in several stages, provides withdrawal of troops, cleaning of territories from mines, restoration of infrastructure, and return of population, Azimov said. He stated that at this stage first steps for settling cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan can be made.

Above mentioned processes can be registered legally: signing of agreements by the sides, resolution of the UN Security Council, OSCE's decision, Azimov said. Political measures can be guarantees of international organizations , including the countries-co- chairmen.

Practical step will become placement of peacekeeping forces from various countries. Taking into account interests of the sides, participation of the regions' troops in peacekeeping operation will be impossible, Azimov said.

Regarding coming visit of the president in Paris Azimov said that Azerbaijan does not allow separation of its territory. If the sides admit these realities, the other questions can be solved.

"Either we spend time in vain , or we implement the agreements which are possible today and go ahead," Azimov said.

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