Russia sees breakthrough on Armenia-occupied Karabakh

Russia said Azerbaijan and Armenia are on course to make a landmark deal to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict next year.

Russia sees breakthrough on Armenia-occupied Karabakh

Russia on Thursday said Azerbaijan and Armenia are on course to make a landmark deal to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict next year.

Fifteen years of mediation have failed to produce a peace deal on the Armenian-occupied mountain territory, which is at the heart of a key transit region for oil and gas to the West.

But mediators from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported progress in talks last month between Azeri President Ilham Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarksyan.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told reporters that if the current pace was continued a peace deal was likely.

"If the positive pace achieved in the negotiating process... is continued next year, then we can count on a rather swift final agreement of the basic principles for resolution (of the conflict) and the working out of the text for a peace agreement," he told reporters.

Azeri land has been under Armenian occupation in early 1990s in which nearly 30,000 people died and 2 million were forced to flee their homes.

Shootings between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the region remain common despite a 1994 cease fire.

Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the area ended in 1994 when a ceasefire was signed. The two sides are still technically at war because no peace treaty has been signed.

Turkey and Armenia had no diplomatic ties or economic relations since Turkey closed its border with Armenia after this country invaded the Upper-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in 1992, until recently when the two countries agreed about a month ago on a protocol to establish relations after months-long Swiss mediated talks.


Agencies

Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2009, 16:42
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