Details added (first version posted on 14:48)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 9
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
The format of the OSCE Minsk Group has full consistency regarding the continuation of efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of previously agreed principles, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
He made the remarks Dec.9 at a press conference in Hamburg following the Dec. 8 meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council, the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.
Earlier, heads of delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries published a statement regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict following the 23rd meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg Dec. 8.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault remain fully committed to a negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to the statement.
"The Co-Chair countries are prepared to host a meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan when they are ready," the statement said. "Continuous and direct dialogue between the presidents, conducted under the auspices of the Co-Chairs, remains an essential element in building confidence and moving the peace process forward."
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.