Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 1 / Trend E.Mehtiev /
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group welcomed the opportunity to meet with foreign ministers of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict parties, co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, Ian Kelly told Trend.
According to him, OSCE Minsk Group welcomed the opportunity to have a joint discussion on ways to reduce tension and move the peace process forward.
"We look forward to another meeting with them in the coming weeks, and a trip to the region to follow. Exact dates have not been determined," Kellly said.
On January 28, 2013, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Jacques Faure of France, and Ian Kelly of the United States of America) met jointly with the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, and the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, OSCE website reported.
Also participating in the meeting was the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk.
The Co-Chairs continued discussions with the Ministers on the working proposal to advance the peace process, which they submitted to the sides in October 2012. They also exchanged views on possible confidence building measures.
The Co-Chairs referred to their statements of April 14, 2011 and July 13, 2012, and discussed with the Ministers issues pertaining to civilian flights to and from the airport in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The Foreign Ministers and the Co-Chairs stressed the importance of the OSCE Minsk Group as the framework for negotiating a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Foreign Ministers reiterated their support for a peaceful settlement and their determination to continue negotiations. The Ministers and the Co-Chairs agreed to a further discussion of the peace process in the coming weeks.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven 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 peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.