OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to visit South Caucasus
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 5
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - representatives of France, Russia and the US - will in few days visit Baku, Yerevan and the Nagorno-Karabakh region occupied by Armenians, according to French Foreign Ministry's spokesman Romain Nadal.
Nadal made the remarks at the briefing Apr. 5, RIA Novosti reported.
France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault held phone conversations with the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on Apr. 2 and the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on Apr. 4.
"Ayrault confirmed France's commitment as part of the Minsk Group chairmanship, together with Russia and the US, to make efforts for finding a peaceful and sustainable solution to this conflict," said Nadal.
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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
On the night of April 2, 2016, all the frontier positions of Azerbaijan were subjected to heavy fire from the Armenian side, which used large-caliber weapons, mortars and grenade launchers.
The armed clashes resulted in deaths and injuries among the Azerbaijani population. Azerbaijan responded with a counter-attack, which led to liberation of several strategic heights and settlements. More than 370 Armenian soldiers, 12 tanks, 12 armored vehicles and 15 artillery guns have been destroyed from April 2 until today.