Baku, Azerbaijan, May 1
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
The OSCE Minsk Group urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to intensify negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, the OSCE Minsk Group's statement said.
The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and Pierre Andrieu of France) traveled to Paris to meet with Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian, and separately with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov on April 30.
The Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, also participated in the meetings.
The ministers reported on their respective presidents' meeting with President of France Francois Hollande in Yerevan and Baku April 24-25.
"We stressed to each minister the importance of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan intensifying their dialogue, and continued preparations for the next presidential meeting later this year," the statement said. "The ministers agreed to meet each other, together with the co-chairs, to shape the agenda for the presidents' discussion, and welcomed an upcoming visit to the region by the co-chairs."
The co-chairs also said that the so-called parliamentary election in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized by any country in the world.
"None of our three countries, nor any other country, recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent and sovereign state," the statement said. "Accordingly, we do not accept the results of this "election" as affecting the legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and stress that this election in no way prejudges the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiations to bring a lasting and peaceful settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."
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 the UN Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
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