Baku, Azerbaijan, June 29
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 spread joint statement, Trend reports referring to OSCE.
The Co-Chairs visited Vienna and Bratislava from 27-28 June to brief the Permanent Representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group countries, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak on the results of the Co-Chairs’ recent visit to the region and their recent consultations with the Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers in Moscow and Washington.
They also met with Head of the OSCE High-Level Planning Group Colonel Vladimir Minarik. Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk also took part in these meetings.
The Co-Chairs welcomed the simultaneous release of prisoners on 28 June and expressed appreciation for the efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross in facilitating this positive first step with regard to detainees.
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.