The Co-Chairs will hold next meeting in Istanbul on 20 March, says statement issued by three Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group after a meeting in Washington on 7 and 8 March to discuss the latest developments regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The mediators expressed again their gratitude to the President of the French Republic for making that meeting between President Robert Kocharian and President Ilham Aliyev possible.
Assessing the current state of affairs in the region, the Co-Chairs reaffirmed their belief that a great deal of progress has been achieved in the past year and a half. They regret that the process has not moved forward in recent weeks though, despite ample opportunity to do so.
They urged both parties to build on the basic principles for a future settlement that have already been developed in order to achieve an agreement in 2006. Referring to their joint statement at the OSCE Permanent Council on 2 March, the Co-Chairs continue to believe that objective conditions make 2006 a highly favourable year for substantial progress, and they call upon the Governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan to work vigorously to achieve this result. The Co-Chairs further call upon the Government of each country to take steps with their publics to prepare them for peace, and not for war.
The Co-Chairs will decide on their next trip to the region after further assessment of the readiness of the parties.