Details added (first version posted on 11:59)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 17
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov commented on the remarks made by his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov regarding the recent presidential meeting.
A meeting was held in Vienna on May 16 involving President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, French Minister of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir, OSCE Minsk group co-chairs, and special representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk.
"I agree with the Foreign Minister of Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov's assessment that yesterday's meeting opens good opportunity to start the substantial talks on well-known step-by-step approach on [Nagorno-Karabakh] conflict resolution," said the minister.
These talks must start as soon as possible and produce tangible results so awaited by people in the region and the international community, he added.
The OSCE Minsk Group made a statement on the results of the Vienna meeting May 16.
"The presidents reiterated their commitment to the ceasefire and the peaceful settlement of the conflict. To reduce the risk of further violence, they agreed to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism," said the statement.
"The presidents also agreed to the expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office," said the statement.
They agreed to continue the exchange of data on missing persons under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), added the OSCE Minsk Group.
The presidents agreed on a next round of talks, to be held in June at a place to be mutually agreed, with an aim to resuming negotiations on a comprehensive settlement, said the statement.
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.
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