Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) holds talks with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Nov. 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Tofik Babayev)
BAKU, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The decades-old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan should be resolved through diplomatic means, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said here on Monday.
Speaking at the joint briefing with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov, Lavrov stressed that "diplomacy can help move the process of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement from a dead point."
"As co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group, we will continue to seek for mutually acceptable peaceful solutions, taking into account the hints that emerged during the recent meeting of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Moscow," he said.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group is tasked to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship mechanism comprising Russian, U.S. and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Noting Russia and Azerbaijan are strategic partners, Lavrov said, "We show common positions on international platforms with regard to the inadmissibility of attempts to violate, ignore the principle of equal rights of states."
Mammadyarov said that "the status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable ... Azerbaijan demands compliance with the (relevant) U.N. Security Council resolutions."
About the negotiations with Lavrov, Mammadyarov noted that the parties discussed the role of Russia as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
"I informed the Russian Foreign minister about the position of Azerbaijan and the results of the recent discussions in Moscow with the co-chairs. I held substantive talks with the co-chairs. We discussed specific issues to which we need to find solutions," the Azerbaijani foreign minister said.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a bitter dispute over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh first broke out in 1988, when the region claimed independence from Azerbaijan to join Armenia.
Peace talks have been held since 1994 when a ceasefire was reached, but there have been occasional minor clashes in the past along the borders.
A Russian delegation led by Lavrov arrived in Baku on Sunday for a two-day official visit. On Sunday, Lavrov met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.