Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 13 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
The new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis, urged the Organization's participating States to focus on resolving existing conflicts and achieving concrete progress in addressing transnational threats.
Priorities of the Lithuanian Chairmanship include contributing to progress in the resolution of protracted conflicts in the OSCE area, Ažubalis made inauguration speech at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.
He said the Chairmanship would push for a resumption of formal "5+2" negotiations on Moldova, use the Geneva process to rebuild trust and work to restore a meaningful OSCE presence in Georgia; and support greater engagement by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to re-energize political negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh.
In general, the Lithuanian chairmanship intends to promote the process of creating a united and indivisible community of security in the OSCE area, in accordance with the decisions of last year's summit in Astana.
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.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.