The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan will meet in New York on September 23 and discuss organizing a meeting between the two countries' presidents, Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said.
“The organization of a possible meeting between the presidents of the two countries and the timetable of the [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Co-Chairs’ visit to the region. These are the two issues we’ll discuss with Elmar Mammadyarov,”Nalbandian said in an interview with Voice of America on September 22.
Asked about his remarks at an Armenia-Diaspora forum related to the return of Nagorno-Karabakh territories, Nalbandian said “some quotes and comments were cut out of the context.”
“I spoke about the three famous principles and six elements included in the statements of the [OCSE] Minsk Group co-chairing countries, and which have been presented to the parties as a whole, and the attempts to single out any of the principles will make the settlement impossible. This is what Azerbaijan has been doing for years,” Nalbandian said.
“As Armenia’s president declared at the UN General Assembly, the most important is the issue of Artsakh’s status. If the issue of the status is solved, all others will be settled in a just and logical manner, because all other questions are derivative,” he said.
Nalbandian stressed that “the settlement of all these issues is possible only with the participation of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh for years.
Populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence from Azerbaijan amid a 1988-94 war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
Internationally mediated negotiations involving the OSCE's so-called Minsk Group helped forge a cease-fire in the region, which is not always honored, but have failed to produce a lasting settlement of the conflict.