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I do not believe Turkish President Abdullah Gul will visit Yerevan, said Azerbaijani MP Malahat Hasanova while commenting on media reports about Turkish Presidentїs visit to Armenia at early September. Gul is expected to attend football match between Turkish and Armenian teams in Yerevan.
According to Hasanova, Azerbaijan has a common interest with Turkey. їReports on Gulїs visit to Armenia have caused concerns in Azerbaijani society,ї she said.
Hasanova said Gulїs invitation to Yerevan can suit only Armeniaїs interests. їWe will not restore any diplomatic relations with Armenians until Armenia puts a stop to its aggression toward Azerbaijan. Of course, talks on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict should be held, but not during football match,ї Hasanova added.
MP said the situation in Armenia has aggravated because of the latest developments in Georgia. їTherefore, Sarkisyan asked the Turkish President to open the border just for several days,ї she said.
Hasanova also said she can not understand how Turkish head of state can accept offer of Armenian President.
Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh Believes Russia not to Recognize Independence of Separatist Region
The Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh believes that Russia is not likely to recognize independence of separatist structure in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“Official Moscow can not recognize independence of Nagorno-Karabakh separatists on government level and no Russian non-governmental organizations will support them,” Nizami Bahmanov, head of Azerbaijani Community said to TrendNews.
On 26 August, Russia recognized independence of break-away Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia. The non-governmental organizations of Armenia have appealed the government to recognize independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia has occupied 20% of Azerbaijan’s lands including Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding seven regions. The occupation began in 1988. Azerbaijan lost the Nagorno-Karabakh, except of Shusha and Khojali, in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian Armed Forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and Nagorno-Karabakh’s seven surrounding regions. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful, but fruitless negotiations.
Public sentiment in Azerbaijan is clearly on the side of neighboring Georgia, but the Azerbaijani government is treading lightly, not wanting to do or say anything that might provoke Russia. Baku, which is intent on recovering its own separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, is concerned about how the fighting in Georgia will impact the fates of Georgia’s break-away entities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Azerbaijani leaders and energy executives are also trying to play it safe concerning oil and natural gas pipelines that cross Georgian territory.
With Russian troops and armor remaining in Georgia proper, the signs are mounting that Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be formally partitioned from Georgia, and perhaps even annexed by Russia. From Baku’s perspective that would be a dire development. Khazar Ibrahim, an Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson, has spoken repeatedly in favour of maintaining the status quo. “We support Georgia’s territorial integrity and the restoration of the peace process,” Ibrahim said at a press briefing in Baku on August 11.
Provocative Information on Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Spread in Azerbaijan on Eve of Presidential Elections: Head of Community
The Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh considers that on the eve of the presidential elections, some forces in Azerbaijan spread information of provocative character in the connection with the situation which arose around solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The purpose of spreading information of provocative character in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is to reach the recognition of legitimacy of the present government of Armenia in the international level and inside country itself,” Head of the Azerbaijan Community, Nizami Bahmanov, told Trend News on 6 August.
Russian press reports that the leadership of the Azerbaijan Community of Nagorno-Karabakh was moved to Khojavend region, which is located on the front line, and the process of the returning internally displaced persons commenced.
The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan struck a positive tone and pledged to keep talking about a possible peace deal for the frozen conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh after they met for talks in Moscow, a Russian newspaper reported on Monday.
Friday’s meeting had proved useful and consultations should be continued in a similar format, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian was quoted by The Moscow Times.
Nalbandian added there is a chance of him reconvening with his Azerian counterpart at the next U.N. General Assembly session. “There are sensitive issues, they should be handled cautiously. We are trying to create an adequate environment for negotiations to continue,” he was quoted by Interfax news agency.
“If we feel we have found a common platform, then nothing is impossible,” Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov said.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the outcome of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, stands as the principal obstacle to the political stability, economic development and regional cooperation in the Southern Caucasus. The conflict is also responsible for the deplorable situation of the nearly one million refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan.
Nagorno-Karabakh residents will decide for themselves whether the republic will be under Azeri control or be independent, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Matthew Bryza said after the meeting.
A referendum on Nagorno Karabakh’s status is possible in 15-20 years, Novruz Mammadov, head of the international relations department at the Azeri presidential administration said.
“These processes may become possible only after the return of Azeri refugees and displaced persons,” he added.
The Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe is a body co-headed by Russia, the United States and France and appointed to mediate in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Turkey expressed on Monday it hopes that the parties could reach a consensus on the issue, but rejected the proposal for a referendum.
As a member of the Minsk Group, Turkey considers the Minsk Process as a useful mechanism to reach a peaceful, lasting and just settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which constitutes the key foreign policy issue for Azerbaijan. Turkey believes that the international community should actively engage in efforts geared towards creating a favorable environment conducive to overcoming the existing stalemate.