OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to continue working with sides for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement
Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 29 /Trend, R.Darakhshan/
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation) and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk met Thursday in Warsaw with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and then with Armenian President Serge Sargsian to discuss next steps aimed at reaching a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The Co-Chairs reaffirmed the commitment made by Presidents Medvedev, Obama, and Sarkozy in their May 26 Deauville statement to assist the sides to achieve such a settlement, says a statement released by the Co-Chairs on Thursday.
In their joint statement of 26 May 2011 made in Deauville, France, the Presidents of France, the Russian Federation and the United States of America - the countries co-chairing the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe - strongly urged the sides to prepare their populations for peace, not war.
According to the statement, the Co-Chairs presented their work plan for the coming months, leading up to the December OSCE Ministerial Council in Vilnius. They will continue to work with the sides to delineate their current differences on the Basic Principles as a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement.
The Co-Chairs also will propose to all the parties additional measures aimed at strengthening implementation of the ceasefire, improving the atmosphere on the ground, and promoting understanding among peoples of the region, read the statement.
The Co-Chairs plan to visit the region again in the near future to carry out this work plan.
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 seven 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.