Baku, Azerbaijan, May 30
On May 30, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group issued a joint statement, Trend reports citing OSCE.
"The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America), together with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk, visited the region from 27 to 30 May.
The Co-Chairs met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on 27 May and with President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on 30 May. In both capitals, they held consultations with the respective Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers. In Baku, the Co-Chairs met with the Chairman of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The main purpose of the visit was to assess the evolution of the situation on the line of contact and the international border, and to follow up on the discussions held by the Azerbaijani President and the Armenian Prime Minister in Vienna on 29 March and their respective Foreign Ministers in Moscow on 15 April.
As requested, the Co-Chairs provided proposals for concrete next steps in the settlement process, including on humanitarian and security measures. The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan accepted the Co-Chairs’ proposal to meet soon under their auspices, and will announce details at the appropriate time.
The Co-Chairs expressed deep concern about recent casualties and called on the parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation," 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 Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.