OSCE chairman-in-office: New breath provided to Nagorno-Karabakh process

OSCE chairman-in-office: New breath provided to Nagorno-Karabakh process

USA, Washington, February 6 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/

The last meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia in Sochi provided new breath to the negotiation process on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, said OSCE Chairman-in-Office Kanat Saudabayev.

"As a country in the region, we have more opportunities to get closer to the final stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh process, Saudabayev, State Secretary and Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan told Trend . We expect the solution to the conflict to be found before we shift OSCE chairmanship to the next country. "

This year's first trilateral meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Armenia Serj Sargsyan was held in Sochi on Jan. 25 to discuss peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The meeting agreed upon the preamble of the document to resolve the conflict that arose in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the conflict, Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts - 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory - are under occupation of Armenian armed forces.

Last year, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia met six times - in Munich, Chisinau, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague and Zurich. The meetings in Moscow and St. Petersburg were held in the trilateral format.

"We will do everything we can to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based on the progress made in previous years. The OSCE Minsk Group has now reached the big breakthrough," said Saudabayev.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Saudabayev stressed that Kazakhstan will use all its unique capabilities to achieve a breakthrough in the conflict.

This week Saudabayev held talks with U.S. officials in Washington and took part in the hearing of the Helsinki Commission of the United States. He said that in the coming weeks he plans to visit South Caucasus countries.

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