Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 5
By Anahanum Khidayatova - Trend:
After more than a year without a meeting, it was important for the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to talk face-to-face and clarify their positions in Bern, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick told Trend. .
The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held a summit Dec.19 in Bern under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France).
Although the sides didn't achieve any breakthrough in Bern, the co-chairs will aim to bring the presidents together again in 2016, Warlick said.
The sides discussed a range of issues, including violence along the line of contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border and proposals regarding a settlement of the conflict, he said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
"In the meantime, the co-chairs will continue their work with the foreign ministers on proposals regarding a settlement, measures to reduce the risk of violence, and programs to promote dialogue between the communities of Nagorno-Karabakh," Warlick said.
The diplomat went on to add that the position of the OSCE MG regarding the conflict hasn't changed.
The United States fully supports the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs' efforts to mediate a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Warlick said.
"We urge the sides to approach the upcoming summit constructively and use the opportunity to make progress towards a settlement," he said.
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