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Azerbaijan should adhere to principled strategic line in Nagorno-Karabakh talks: expert of Carleton University

Azerbaijan should adhere to the principled strategic line to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, leading expert on Eurasian countries, Doctor Robert Cutler believes.

"In the peace process on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Azerbaijan should continue the principled strategic line that it has followed up until this time," Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University of Canada, Doctor Cutler said in his interview with Trend News.

Continuing a previous line, Azerbaijan should make tactical compromises in its interest in particular negotiating situations as they arise, he added.

Official Baku insists on settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

Commenting on the OSCE Minsk Group statements about the withdrawal of the snipers from the frontline of the conflict, expert said that, it would be effective only if Armenian side stops the regular shooting on Azerbaijan's territory.

"If armed militia from occupied territories have indeed stopped sniping at Azerbaijani soldiers with rifles, then it would be good for Azerbaijan also to stop sniping at occupying forces," he said.

Although a ceasefire regime exists between Azerbaijan and Armenia since 1994, both sides periodically fires on the front line.

Reminding that there is a possibility that Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be discussed at the UN GA's 64th session, Dr. Robert M. Cutler nonetheless says that "The UN has not lately been able to make a constructive contribution to the solution of frozen conflicts in the Caucasus. This is not necessarily the UN's fault but just a fact of life".

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

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First published under byline N.Bogdanova by Trend News Agency (Baku), 1 August 2009