YEREVAN, December 11. /ARKA/. Peaceful settlement of Larabakh conflict is one of the priorities of the European Union, foreign minister of Lithuania that is currently chairing at the EU Linas Linkiavichus said, Radio Liberty reported.
The EU welcomes the November 19 meeting of the two presidents in Vienna, Linkiavichus said at a joint press conference in Brussels, after the meeting of the council on EU-Azerbaijan cooperation.
EU’s position on the problem remains unchanged, he said.
The key mediator between the sides to the conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, while the EU will try to do its best for mutual trust between the parties, Lithuanian foreign minister said.
The Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when prevailingly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh declared withdrawal from Azerbaijan. On December 10, 1991, a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh where 99.89% voted for independence from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan responded by large-scale military operations that led to loss of control not only over Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but also over seven adjoining areas. About 25-30 thousands people were killed and about a million had to leave their homes during the military operations.
A trilateral cease-fire agreement was signed on May 12, 2004, and has been followed since then.
The ongoing Karabakh peace process started in 1992 under auspices of OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France. –0—