OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs underscore the non-use of force as a core element to resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 19 February 2009 18:30 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 19 / Trend , J.Babayeva /

The Co-Chairs further underscore the non-use of force as a core element of any just and lasting settlement of the conflict.

The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group say there is no military solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Yury Merzlyakov of Russia, and Matthew Bryza of the United States said in a statement.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 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 the peace negotiations.

Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serge Sargsyan described their most recent meeting, in Zurich on Jan. 28, 2009, as useful and constructive commitment to the Minsk Group peace process, and asked the Co-Chairs to intensify their efforts to help the parties bridge their remaining differences with regard to the Basic Principles.

The Minsk Group's Co-Chairs will visit the region before the end of February to help the parties to accelerate their efforts to finalize the Basic Principles..

The Minsk Group Co-Chairs will not allow the peace process to be subverted by legalistic or historical discussions, though they will remain sensitive to historical concerns expressed by the parties to the conflict, all of which must be addressed in due course.

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