Baku (Noyan Tapan)– "Azerbaijan Prefers to Settle the Karabakh conflict peacefully" announced the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Vilayat Guliyev,adding that if the conflict remains undecided within the near future–and if the Azeri government makes a decision to regain Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity by other means–it will not ask for any permission."
Guliyev’s comment comes as an indirect response to the announcement made by the US Ambassador to Baku Ross Wilson over the Liberty radio station–who on October 16 announced that the US will not support official Baku if the latter chooses to begin "anti-terrorist" actions against Nagorno-Karabakh.
The US has a clear position on the matter–said Ross Wilson–adding that Washington will only support a peacuful resolution of the conflict–which is favored by Azeri President Heydar Aliyev. We do not wish and will not support any military resolution of the conflict–conlcuded the Ambassador.
However–Vilayat Guliyev rejected a proposal by Nagorno Karabakh President Arkady Ghoukassian to start direct negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert to find an end to the decade-long conflict.
Guliyev said the conflict was between Armenia and Azerbaijan–and not Karabakh. Guliyev also said that Karabakh might join the negotiations given a significant progress was reached in Armenia-Azerbaijan talks over resolution of the conflict.
Guliyev also said that the OSCE Minsk group co-chairmen–including the US newly appointed envoy Rudolph Perina–tasked to handle the conflict–will arrive in the region in early November.