A Latvian lawmaker has said his country supports a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and this was stated recently at the UN General Assembly session, Azertag news agency reported.
Romans Naudins, a member of the Latvian-Azerbaijani parliamentary cooperation group, who visited Azerbaijan shortly before the October 9 presidential elections, said the policy of double standards of the international community hinders a settlement of the long-lasting conflict.
The conflict emerged in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions. The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.
Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.
Naudins expressed concern that the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses major hurdles not only for the South Caucasus region but also the stability of the entire Europe as reliable energy supply routes are extremely important for the EU countries.
Naudins said Azerbaijan contributes significantly to the strengthening of Europe's energy security. The conflict also has a strong negative impact on Armenia's economy, given that Armenia has been sidelined from the largest regional projects initiated and implemented by Azerbaijan, he added.
He also said that next year will see the 20th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Latvia and Azerbaijan. According to him, the two countries closely cooperate within international organizations, and bilateral relations within the Eastern Partnership program are efficient.
Naudins said there is every opportunity to develop bilateral relations. He added that the Latvian-Azerbaijani parliamentary cooperation group is ready to contribute to strengthening the partnership between the two countries.