Trend, Azerbaijan
Aug 29 2009

Azerbaijan does not see status of Nagorno-Karabakh outside country's
territorial integrity: President

Azerbaijan, Baku, August 29 / Trend News /

"All occupied territories will be liberated sequentially, our
compatriots will return to these areas. The entire infrastructure will
be rebuilt there, and in the next stage, the legal status of
Nagorno-Karabakh will be defined. We have always said that
Nagorno-Karabakh, of course, should have the status, but we do not see
this status outside the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the
Azerbaijan state will never agree with it," said the President of
Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, attending an Iftar party on the occasion of
the holy month of Ramadan hosted by Head of the Caucasian Muslims'
Board Sheikh ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade at his residence on
Friday, AzerTAj state news agency reported.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988
when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan
lost all of Nagorno-Karabakh except for Shusha and Khojali in December
1991. In 1992-93, Armenian armed forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and 7
districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed
a ceasefire in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia,
France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

The position of State remains unchanged - this issue can be resolved
only within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, said Ilham

"People in Nagorno-Karabakh can live with a high status of autonomy
within Azerbaijani state. Today these principles are taken as a
basis. The negotiations are conducted on the basis of these
principles, and any agreement can only be based on these
principles. We have always said and say today that the issue can be
resolved only gradually. Proposals that are now the topic of
negotiations envisage step-by-step solution," said the President.

The progress achieved in the negotiation process is the result of
purposeful policy, Azerbaijani President said. "I can say that our
efforts are already yielding first results in the negotiation
process," said President Ilham Aliyev.