Foreign ministers of OSCE MG called on parties of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to accelerate settlement

Foreign ministers of OSCE MG called on parties of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to accelerate settlement

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 22 /Trend E.Tariverdiyeva/

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the formal request to convene a conference on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, call on the sides to demonstrate the political will needed to achieve a lasting and peaceful settlement, said in a joint statement of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, on March 22.

"We urge the leaders of the parties to finalize the framework agreement and a subsequent final decision as soon as possible - on the basis of the Helsinki Final Act, based on the principles of non-use of force or threat, territorial integrity and self-determination and equality of peoples, points of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as norms and principles of international law - that will allow the region to move beyond the status quo to a more secure and prosperous future, " the statement said, OSCE website reported.

The peoples of the region have suffered most from the consequences of war, and any delay in reaching a settlement will only prolong their hardships. A new generation has come of age in the region with no first-hand memory of Armenians and Azeris living side by side, and prolonging these artificial divisions only deepens the wounds of war. For this reason, we urge the leaders of the sides to prepare their populations for peace, not war.

"How Presidents Obama, Medvedev and Sarkozy confirmed in a joint statement in Deauville on May 24, 2011, only a negotiated settlement can lead to peace, stability and reconciliation, and any attempt to use force to resolve the conflict will bring instability in the region, which suffers from uncertainty for too long," the statement said.

Progress toward peace has been made. The joint statements of our three Presidents at L'Aquila in 2009, Muskoka in 2010, and Deauville in 2011 outlined elements of a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement. Recently, the January 23, 2012, joint statement in Sochi, Russia, by Presidents Aliyev, Sargsyan, and Medvedev expressed the commitment of the two sides to accelerate reaching agreement on the Basic Principles. We urge the leaders of the sides to complete work as soon as possible on the framework agreement and subsequent final settlement - based on the Helsinki Final Act principles of non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and self-determination and equal rights of peoples; the United Nations Charter; and norms and principles of international law - which will allow the entire region to move beyond the status quo toward a more secure and prosperous future."

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.

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