OSCE assessment mission’s report submitted to Azerbaijani side (UPDATE)
French co-chair's remarks and background added after the first paragraph (the first version was posted at 16:20)
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 15 / Trend, V. Zhavoronkova /
A report of the OSCE assessment mission on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan has been submitted to the Azerbaijani side, the OSCE Minsk Group's French co-chair Bernard Fassier told journalists before his departure from Baku.
"OSCE Minsk Group has decided not to publicize the assessment mission's report on the occupied territories until all sides have been briefed on its content. The report has been submitted to only Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev yet, who has read it, as the other side, after which the co-chairs and the conflict sides will discuss its content during next meeting," Fassier said.
The OSCE assessment mission examined the situation in the Azerbaijani occupied territories at Azerbaijan's initiative in early October 2010.
The co-chairs also discussed the method of investigation of incidents at the contact line that occurred before and after three presidents' summit in Sochi in the light of a declaration signed there.
"Learning about the incident with the child, we issued a press communiqué, and started our investigation. The OSCE Special Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk and his team are engaged in it," Fassier said.
He said that the investigation is underway and it is early to speak about its outcome.
"We've always talked about the need to strengthen the ceasefire. The co-chairs have been insisting on withdrawal of snipers from the contact line already for two years. If this request is fulfilled, such an incident will not happen," Fassier said.
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.
Presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia Ilham Aliyev, Dmitry Medvedev and Serzh Sargsyan met at the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort near Sochi on March 5.
After the talks, the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia adopted a joint statement on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. The document stresses the desire to resolve all disputed issues by peaceful means and to investigate possible incidents along the ceasefire line, with the participation of the parties under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen with the assistance of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman.