By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
ANKARA (AA) - Azerbaijan’s president on Saturday said the Upper Karabakh issue cannot be resolved in a day and there is a need to resolve the conflict in phases.
“It's clear that we need to resolve this conflict in phases. We cannot resolve it in one […] day,” Ilham Aliyev said at a session -- titled An Update on Nagorno-Karabakh -- along with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, during the 56th Munich Security Conference
“The first phase should be, as Russian proposal [suggested], liberation of part of the occupied territories, return of Azerbaijani IDPs to those territories, resettlement […] and in the meantime, the process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Aliyev said, adding the status of Upper Karabakh can be discussed later.
For his part, Pashinyan said that there cannot be a military solution to the conflict in the region.
Upper Karabakh is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan illegally occupied by Armenia through military aggression since 1991.
Four UN Security Council and two General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many other international organizations, refer to this fact and demand withdrawal of the occupational Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk group -- co-chaired by France, Russia and the U.S. -- was formed to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but has not reached any results yet.