Turkey calls on Minsk Group to hold talks on Karabakh
Turkey calls for results-oriented talks for permanent solution to Upper Karabakh conflict between Armenia, Azerbaijan
Turkey on Monday called on the co-chairs of the Minsk Group to start a results-oriented negotiation process aiming at a permanent solution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the Upper Karabakh region.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement that for the efforts of the Minsk Group to yield concrete results, it would be necessary to take into account recent cease-fire violations by Armenia and to launch such talks in line with UN Security Council resolutions on the issue and international law.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group -- co-chaired by France, Russia, and the US -- was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail.
Aksoy noted that Yerevan had violated three cease-fires -- one on Oct. 10, another on Oct. 18 and the latest going into effect on Monday morning -- after the clashes erupted following Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan.
He said that the latest truce had been declared to allow the exchange of prisoners of war and bodies as a result of the initiatives of the US, but was violated again "in minutes" by Armenia as it continued its attacks on Azerbaijani positions on the front line and civilian targets in Azerbaijan's inner regions far from the conflict zone
On Sunday, the US State Department said Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
However, Armenia broke the truce only minutes after it was supposed to take effect on Monday, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan, and the seven adjacent regions.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly as well as international organizations demand the "immediate complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from the occupied Azerbaijani territory.