The parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have agreed at a meeting between Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian in Paris that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen must intensify their mediation activity, spokesman for Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev told Trend today.
"Azerbaijan is in the same position," he said. "According to it, the occupation of the Azerbaijani lands by Armenia is in the basis of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This hinders the process of the conflict settlement."
"At the meeting, Baku once said that first it is necessary to withdraw Armenian troops from the occupied territories to achieve progress in the settlement," he said. "This will help open up new opportunities to develop the entire region."
"The parties agreed that the mediators will soon visit the region within the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement," he said.
Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian discussed the course of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement in Paris on Monday, the OSCE said.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen from the U.S, France and Russia, Robert Bradtke, Jacques Faure and Igor Popov, as well as personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk attended the meeting.
The Foreign Ministers expressed their determination to continue working with the co-chairmen to achieve peaceful settlement and confirmed their readiness to conduct confidence-building measures that could improve the atmosphere of the talks, the message said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.