Baku, Yerevan reach agreement on exchange of data about MIA
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 28
Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan reached an agreement on the exchange of the data about those missing in action (MIA), during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, said the Elysee Palace's website Oct. 28.
The agreement was reached at a trilateral meeting between Ilham Aliyev, Serzh Sargsyan and French President Francois Hollande.
The agreement on the exchange of MIA was reached under the auspices of the International Red Cross.
"France began mediating between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement," said the statement. "President Hollande managed to get the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents to hold a direct dialogue."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Armenia and Azerbaijan 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 four U.N. Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
During a visit to the South Caucasus region in May, French president reaffirmed the commitment of France as a co-chairing country of the Minsk Group to continue mediating to search for a peaceful solution to this conflict, twenty years after the ceasefire agreement entered into force.
According to the statement, Hollande stressed the need to effectively reduce tensions between the two sides on the contact line.
President Hollande urged the presidents of the two countries to intensify their efforts on the negotiations and lasting settlement of the Karabakh conflict in accordance with the principles of international law and the principles set by the Minsk Group co-chairmen, said the statement
President Hollande also stressed the unacceptability of the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. He urged the presidents of both countries to demonstrate the political will necessary to overcome the differences.
"The French president proposed to start working out a comprehensive peace agreement to move off the dead center," said the statement.
During the Paris meeting, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia also agreed to continue the dialogue on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2015
The statement said Aliyev and Sargsyan also discussed the development of the Caucasus region and its relations with France.