OSCE MG co-chairs issue statement after visit to S. Caucasus
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.17
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
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 (PRCIO) Andrzej Kasprzyk, visited the region from 14 to 17 October, Trend reports referring to the statement issued by OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
“The co-chairs met with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on 15 October and with President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on 17 October, and held consultations with the respective Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers in both capitals. In Baku, the Co-Chairs met with the Chairman of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh. While in Nagorno-Karabakh, the mediators were briefed on humanitarian issues by the local representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The two leaders briefed the Co-Chairs on their recent conversation during the CIS summit in Ashgabat and presented their ideas on how to advance the settlement process. The Co-Chairs welcomed the prospect of implementing specific humanitarian and security measures to prepare the populations for peace and reduce tensions,” reads the document.
As the statement says, the Co-Chairs once again stressed the critical importance of monitoring missions led by the PRCIO, in accordance with his mandate and longstanding practice.
“The Co-Chairs called on the sides to continue to support fully the activities of the PRCIO and his team and to ensure that any obstacles potentially interfering with monitoring missions are removed immediately. The Foreign Ministers confirmed their intention to meet again under Co-Chair auspices before the end of the year. The Co-Chairs will travel soon to Vienna to brief the OSCE Permanent Council and the members of the Minsk Group,” reads 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, 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.
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