Nagorno

FILE PHOTO: View shows settlement in Martakert district in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has named Russia as the best-placed country to resolve the dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, noting that Moscow has more knowledge of the region than either Paris or Washington.

"Russia is one of the countries which is a mediator, along with United States and France," Aliyev said in an interview with Al Jazeera published on Saturday.

"Of course, Russia has a special position, because it's a neighbor to Azerbaijan, neighbor to the region."

Aliyev believes that, due to Russia's geographical proximity to the Caucasus, it has a better understanding of the events of the last three decades, and therefore can do a better job in helping to find a solution. "We think that three countries should continue to work together if all of them keep neutrality," said the president. "If you are a mediator in such a sensitive issue, you should act in this capacity."

In 1992, the US, France, and Russia became co-chairs of the newly founded OSCE Minsk Group, created with the goal of finding a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed region in the Caucasus, and both Azerbaijan and Armenia believe they have strong claims to the territory. The latest escalation in the conflict between Baku and Yerevan started on September 27, continuing a decades-long disagreement. On Thursday, the Minsk Group countries released a joint statement demanding an "immediate cessation of hostilities between the relevant military forces."