NAGORNO-KARABAKH CONFLICT IS KEY PROBLEM IN SOUTH CAUCASUS COUNTRIES' COOPERATION: OSCE PA SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE (VIDEO)

Trend News Agency
Sept 1 2008
Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, Baku, 1 September /Trend News corr. I.Alizade/ The OSCE
Parliamentary Assembly (PA) Special Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh
said the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is the key obstacle for
closer cooperation amongst South Caucasus countries. "Settlement of
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may become the beginning of closer
cooperation amongst South Caucasus countries," OSCE PA Special
Representative for Nagorno-Karabakh Goran Lenmarker said to journalists
in Baku on 1 September.

The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began
in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since
1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including
the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In
1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which
time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk
Group (Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful
negotiations.

"The conflict is the only obstacle for cooperation amongst the
three countries. Efforts and endeavours must be made to settle
the conflict," said Lenmarker. According to him, settlement of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is important in terms of repatriation
of IDPs to their land and establishment of stability in the region.

During his today's visit to Baku Lenmarker discussed the situation
in Georgia. "The position of such a leading country as Azerbaijan is
important for OSCE," he said. He negotiated with Azerbaijani President,
Parliamentary Speaker and Foreign Minister in Baku.