Baku, Azerbaijan, July 12
By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have reiterated their commitment to helping the sides of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict find a peaceful solution, reads a press statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group following their meeting with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Brussels on July 11.
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France and Andrew Schofer of the US) hosted an introductory meeting between Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov July 11 in Brussels, according to the statement.
Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk also participated in the meeting.
This was the first high-level meeting between the sides in this format since elections in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The ministers exchanged views regarding the situation on the ground and discussed next steps and parameters for re-engaging in substantive negotiations,” the statement said. “The sides considered several issues for future meetings, including a range of possible confidence-building measures.”
“The Co-Chairs stressed the importance of reducing tensions and avoiding inflammatory rhetoric,” the statement noted. “The Co-Chairs also 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 ministers agreed to meet again in the near future under the auspices of the Co-Chairs, according to 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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