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Azerbaijan, Georgia defense ministers discuss Karabakh conflict

April 04, 2016, 12:56 UTC+3 BAKU

Georgia supports the territory integrity of Azerbaijan and hopes for soonest settlement of the Karabakh conflict on the basis of the international law norms, Azerbaijan's defense ministry says

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BAKU, April 4. /TASS/. Defense Ministers of Azerbaijan and Georgia Zakir Gasanov and Tinatin Khidasheli discussed in a telephone conversation the situation at the line of engagement in the Karabakh conflict area, press service of Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said on Monday.

"During the conversation, Khidasheli said Georgia supports the territory integrity of Azerbaijan and expressed hope for soonest settlement of the Karabakh conflict on the basis of the international law norms," the press service said in a statement.

TASS correspondent in Tbilisi, Tengiz Pachkoria, said earlier on Monday the Georgian minister told reporters "for the recent three days Georgia’s defense ministry has been contacting intensively the counterparts in Armenia and Azerbaijan."

Georgia’s Head of the General Staff Vakhtang Kapanadze, in his turn, said on Monday that Tbilisi "is watching closely the events" in the area of Karabakh conflict. "We hope very much for end of fire and that it would be possible to approach a peace phase of settling the conflict," he said, adding "Georgia is one of the countries, which has good relations both with Armenia and with Azerbaijan."

Earlier on Monday, Georgia’s Prime Minister Georgy Kvirikashvili expressed concern over the tension in Nagorno Karabakh. "I am concerned about the escalation of the situation next to Georgia," he said. "We hope very much with efforts from the international community it would be possible to lower the tension. This is very important for peace and stability in the region, and not only in the region."

Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze told reporters Tbilisi would support lowering of tension in relations between Baku and Yerevan. "Georgia as a neighbor both for Armenia and for Azerbaijan will favor maximum the process of de-escalating the situation."

On Saturday, April 2, the parties to the Karabakh conflict accused each other of violating truce along the front line. The claims came from defense authorities of Armenia and of Azerbaijan.

Neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan fell out with each other in the late 1980s because of Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians.

In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and some adjacent territories. Thousands left their homes on both sides in a conflict that killed 30,000. A truce was called between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh republic on one side and Azerbaijan on the other in May 1994.

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