NO ALTERNATIVE TO TALKS IN SETTLING NAGORNO-KARABAKH CONFLICT - ARMENIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

ITAR-TASS, Russia
April 8, 2015 Wednesday 12:02 PM GMT+4

MOSCOW April 8.

There is no alternative to negotiations in settling the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan
said on Wednesday after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey
Lavrov

"Up to this day, Azerbaijan has been refusing the proposals of
co-chairs of the Minsk group both on settling the conflict in
Nagorno-Karabakh and on strengthening trust-building measures,"
Nalbandyan noted.

"However, there is no alternative to talks," the foreign minister
stressed.

Lavrov also confirmed that he is confident the conflict will be settled
by peaceful means. "We do not even allow ourselves to think that the
conflict may enter its hot phase," Lavrov said. "I am convinced that,
despite the rhetoric, no one from the interested parties wants this,"
he added.

"All actions are directed at finding a mutually acceptable solution
as soon as possible," the foreign minister stressed.

The mountainous area of Nagorno-Karabakh remains a so-called "frozen
conflict" on the post-Soviet space as it is the subject of a dispute
between Azerbaijan where the region is located and its ethnic Armenian
population.

In 1988 a war broke out there between Azerbaijani troops and Armenian
residents, which resulted in the region's de facto independence. In
1994 a ceasefire was reached but the relations between the two states
are still strained.

Russia, France and the US co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which attempts to broker an
end to hostilities and the conflict. --0 --sap




From: A. Papazian