Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group expressed deep concern over continued violence in contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 24
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Jacques Faure of France, and James Warlick of the United States of America) met with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian, and Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, to continue negotiations on the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, also participated in the meeting.
The Ministers and the Co-Chairs discussed substantive issues to advance the peace process, building on the November 19 summit in Vienna, which was followed by the December 5 ministerial meeting in Kyiv.
The Ministers reiterated their willingness to continue working towards a peaceful, negotiated settlement.
Ambassador Kasprzyk briefed the Co-Chairs on recent developments on the border and the Line of Contact.
The Co-Chairs expressed their deep concern over continued violence in the region, and stressed that recent incidents undermine negotiations and diminish the prospects for peace. They called on the sides to fully and unconditionally respect the terms of the ceasefire agreement.
The Co-Chairs plan to travel to the region in the coming weeks to continue talks with the Presidents.
The situation on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops has been escalating for the past four days. Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire status 380 times, Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported earlier.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent 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 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.