Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23
By Anakhanum Idayatova - Trend:
During the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs' visits to the region an issue was raised on the importance of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict sides' continuing to respect ceasefire and avoid violence, the OSCE Minsk Group US Co-Chair James Warlick said.
He made the remarks speaking to reporters on July 23 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Warlick added that the possibility of a meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia later this year is being discussed.
He further said the issue of peacekeeping in Nagorno-Karabakh has been under discussion for years, adding that peacekeeping force would need to be a part of any comprehensive settlement.
The co-chair also said the past several months have been a period of relative quite.
"We want that period to continue as a base for trust and furthering negotiated settlement," Warlick added.
He also said the issue of the Azerbaijanis, taken hostages by Armenia, is being discussed, adding that the position of the US government on the matter has not changed.
During an operation in the Shaplar village of Azerbaijan's occupied Kalbajar district on July 11, 2014 Armenian forces killed an Azerbaijani, Hasan Hasanov, and detained two other Azerbaijanis, Shahbaz Guliyev and Dilgam Asgarov. A criminal case was filed against them.
Earlier, "the court" sentenced Asgarov to life imprisonment and Guliyev to 22 years in prison.
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.