OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to visit the region in late November
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 3 / Trend /
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group Bernard Fassier (France), Robert Bradtke (USA), and Igor Popov (Russia) and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk (Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office) presented their annual report of activities on Thursday to the Permanent Council of the OSCE, says the statement of OSCE published on the website of the organization.
In summarizing their efforts to mediate a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Co-Chairs noted that in the past year they visited the region eight times and held fourteen separate meetings in various locations with Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Armenian President Sargsian. The Co-Chairs also crossed the Line of Contact by foot four times in the past fourteen months, demonstrating that the Line is not a permanent barrier between peoples of the region and that military coordination in implementing the ceasefire is possible when all the sides are willing.
Highlighting the continued engagement of their three governments, including at the highest level, the Co-Chairs also reiterated that there is no military solution and that political will by the sides is essential for them to make the difficult decisions required to move beyond the unacceptable status quo and achieve peace.
The Co-Chairs also described additional efforts intended to improve the atmosphere for negotiations, strengthen implementation of the ceasefire, and promote understanding among peoples of the region.
The Co-Chairs plan to travel to the region again at the end of this month to further develop proposals on these issues and to discuss continuation of the negotiation process.
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.