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BAKU, July 12. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who is making a working visit to Azerbaijan will the promotion of bilateral dialogue and pressing international problems with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
On Monday, Lavrov had a meeting with Azerbaijni President Ilham Aliev. In a continuation of this discussion, Lavrov and Mammadyarov are expected to give special attention to the problem of peace settlement in the mainly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.
"A step-by-step version of peace settlement" is the only possible way of settling the Karabakh conflict, President Aliev confirmed.
"This year, and particularly in the past three to four months, a kind of activity unwitnessed in history can be seen," he said at a meeting of the cabinet of ministers. "It’s both Azerbaijan and Armenia that need the talks and the events that took place in the zone of conflict in April showed this in bold relief once again."
Russian officials recall in this connection that the trilateral statement, which the Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents endorsed in St Petersburg, reaffirmed commitment of the signatories to normalization in the areas adjoining the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan gives an encouraging assessment to Russia’s role in the settlement process. Elmar Mammadyarov believes the work at a possible document is substantive and targets to a specified result.
Apart from the Karabakh problem, Lavrov and Mammadyarov plan considering general security issues and particularly the ones related to South Caucasus and the Caspian littoral area.
"Azerbaijan is a strategic partner for Russia in those regions and we’re building relations with it on the basis of equitability, respects for each other’s interests, and good-neighborliness," an official at the Russian Foreign Ministry said in this connection.
Moscow also speaks positively about cooperation with Azerbaijan on regional economic problems.
"Our trade is developing at a fair pace," the official said. "We hope dialogue between the Russian and Azerbaijani will give a new impetus to economic ties. Also, we pin hopes on a regular session of the Russian-Azerbaijani bilateral commission that will meet in Baku in autumn."
In addition to it, Lavrov and Mammadyarov will pay attention to preparations for the 5th Baku International Humanitarian Forum held under the patronage of the Russian and Azerbaijani Presidents. The forum opens on September 29.
Moscow attaches significance to the expansion of traditional ties in the humanitarian sphere and to promotion of the historically close rapport between the peoples of Russia and Azerbaijan.