BAKU, May 10. /TASS/. Azerbaijan hopes that Armenia’s new leadership will not repeat errors of their predecessors and will carry out a sound policy concerning Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hikmet Gadjiev said on Wednesday commenting on Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s remarks about the Karabakh settlement.
"We are still hoping that Armenia's new political leadership will not repeat their predecessors' mistakes, will pursue a sound policy and will try to get along in a civilized way with neighboring states so as to live in peace with us," the spokesman said.
Gadjiev pointed out that a solution to the Karabakh conflict "might help ensure a sustainable peace and security in the region and to create conditions for overwhelming regional cooperation."
In his opinion, "first of all, Armenia’s population will benefit from this."
"So, the ball is in Armenia’s court and a bicycle does not have to be invented," he added. "We would like to reiterate that Azerbaijan is ready for substantial talks to solve as soon as possible the conflict, if mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group on the basis of the existing agenda."
Highlighting Pashinyan’s stance that a compromise on Karabakh is possible with regard to its people’s right to self-determination, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry’s official said that "people of Nagorno-Karabakh could enjoy their right to self-determination within Azerbaijan’s boundaries."
"This includes co-existence of Armenian and Azeri communities amid peace, dignity and prosperity within the framework of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty," Gadjiev said.
The highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh (Mountainous Karabakh) is a mostly Armenian-populated enclave inside the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. It was the first zone of inter-ethnic tensions and violence to appear on the map of the former USSR.
Even almost a quarter of a century after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Karabakh remains a so-called 'frozen conflict' on the post-Soviet space, as the region is the subject of a dispute between Azerbaijan and the local Armenian population that draws on strong support from fellow-countrymen in neighboring Armenia.
In 1988, hostilities broke out there between the forces reporting to the government in Baku and Armenian residents, which resulted in the region's de facto independence. In 1994, a ceasefire was reached but the relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia remain strained ever since then.
Russia, France and the U.S. co-chair the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which attempts to broker an end to hostilities and the conflict. 0-mil/.