Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4
By Anakhanim Hidayatova - Trend:
The Minsk Group process remains the only negotiating format accepted by the sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the US Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick told Trend on Feb. 4.
He was commenting on the proposals to expand the list of the Minsk Group co-chairs by inclusion of Turkey and Germany.
Warlick said the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are strongly committed to helping the sides to reach a lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"However, we serve under the auspices of the OSCE chairman-in-office and at the request of the parties. We plan to continue working towards peace as long as all agree that our role as mediators remains useful," he added.
Earlier, the deputy chairman of the OSCE PA's committee on political affairs and security, the Azerbaijani MP, Azay Guliyev said he plans to raise the issue of increasing the number of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs from three countries - the US, Russia and France - to five, including Germany and Turkey.
Guliyev said he will raise the issue at the winter session of the OSCE PA, to be held in Vienna.
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.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.