Azerbaijan, Baku, July 13 /Trend/
The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister
Audronius Azubalis yesterday met the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassador Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation accompanied by Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on the conflict dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Conference, the OSCE reported.
Azubalis voiced support for the efforts by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to achieve a breakthrough at the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and called for more civil society involvement in the implementation of confidence-building measures.
"It will contribute to the resolution of the conflict, and will strengthen confidence among the societies," he said.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs informed Ažubalis about the trilateral meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian Presidents in Kazan on 24 June, which was an attempt to agree on basic principles as the framework for a comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They also discussed the prospects of a solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and planned negotiating initiatives for the remaining year.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has prepared a message to Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan, following discussions held in Kazan. The message includes proposals on the visions of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution that was recently discussed at the meeting of the three presidents with representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group.
Presidents Ilham Aliyev, Dmitry Medvedev and Serzh Sargsyan discussed the basic principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement in Kazan on June 24. The meeting - ninth in the last three years - ended without reaching agreement on the basic principles of settlement. A joint statement issued after the meeting noted the progress towards this goal.
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.