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NATO Urges Armenia, Azerbaijan To Continue Talks On Karabakh


BELGIUM -- Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (L) and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg give a press conference at the end of a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels, November 23, 2017

NATO has called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue negotiations on the long-standing Nagorno-Karabakh problem and “avoid any new escalation” of the conflict.

After a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels on Thursday, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict a “matter of concern” for the Western military alliance.

At the same time, he emphasized that this conflict cannot be resolved militarily.

Stoltenberg said that NATO has no direct role in the matter, but supports the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group, an international format jointly headed by the United States, Russia and France that brokers a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The NATO chief added that he was encouraged by “renewed dialogue” between Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, who held talks in Geneva last month that the two sides called “constructive.”

Aliyev said the situation surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh was “not changing, unfortunately,” and accused Armenia of seeking “to keep the status quo.”

“The unsettled conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is the greatest danger to regional security,” the Azerbaijani leader said.

Both Aliyev and Sarkisian are slated to meet EU leaders at the Eastern Partnership summit in the Belgian capital on November 24.

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