Armenia and Azerbaijan are inching closer to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh thanks to Russia’s active mediation efforts, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in a newspaper interview published on Monday.
“There is more and more movement,” he told the “Moskovskie Novosti” daily. “Namely, the realization that the [continued] status quo would lead to negative consequences.”
Mammadyarov was interviewed by the liberal Russian paper following a meeting held with his Russian and Armenian counterparts in Moscow on Friday. No details of the trilateral talks were made public.
The three ministers discussed the results of last month’s meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents that was hosted by Russia’s President Medvedev in Sochi. Both Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev said the summit brightened prospects for a Karabakh settlement.
“The active involvement of Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] on behalf of Russia is already bearing fruit,” agreed Mammadyarov. “At the last meeting that took place in Sochi on March 5, we saw a glimmer of hope that we are moving in the right direction.”
“I hope that a breakthrough will happen faster than we expect,” he said. “After all, the principles [of the conflict’s resolution] are not yet a peace accord. One needs to not just redouble but triple efforts on this.”
Mammadyarov also made clear that Baku will stop threatening to resolve the conflict by force if the parties strike a peace deal resulting in the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani territories. He at the same time expressed confidence that Azerbaijan will eventually establish “good-neighborly” relations with Armenia.
“With huge pleasure, we would develop such a policy towards Armenia as well,” he said. “We will do that sooner or later, as soon as we eliminate the negative consequences on Karabakh.”