Baku, Azerbaijan, June 14
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs reiterated their commitment to helping find a peaceful solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to a press statement by the co-chairs posted on the OSCE website June 14 following their visit to Armenia.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the US) together with Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, met with Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan and President Armen Sarkissian during an introductory visit to Yerevan on June 12-14, reads the statement.
“The co-chairs and the Armenian officials reviewed the status of negotiations and discussed next steps to move the [conflict settlement] process forward, including a ministerial meeting in the near future,” says the statement. “They also exchanged views on the current situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the line of contact, underscoring the importance of maintaining a constructive environment.”
In their statement, the co-chairs reiterated their commitment to helping the sides find a peaceful solution to the conflict based on the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, including the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
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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