Program of OSCE chairperson’s visit to South Caucasus announced

Program of OSCE chairperson’s visit to South Caucasus announced

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 30

By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:

The program of OSCE's chairperson Didier Burkhalter's visit to South Caucasus has been announced.

Burkhalter, also the President of the Swiss Confederation, will visit the South Caucasus on June 2-4.

During this period Burkhalter will visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, according to a message from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Burkhalter's first stop will be Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, on June 2, 2014.

During his visit to Baku, Burkhalter will meet with Azerbaijani leadership and officials to discuss the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the country's cooperation with this organization and also the bilateral matters.

On June 3, Burkhalter will hold discussions in Georgia about the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The parties will also discuss the bilateral matters.

Burkhalter's trip will end on June 4 with a visit to the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

The message read that the region is a priority of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship in 2014 because of a number of long-standing conflicts involving these countries.

"Switzerland is working to promote dialogue between the conflicting parties within the framework of its chairmanship," according to the message.

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 two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

Large scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008.

Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August.

In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.

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