Andrew Schofer: "The Co-Chairs are currently working with the foreign ministers to identify the date for the next meeting"
- 26 October 2017
“The Co-Chairs are currently working with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to identify the date for the next meeting,” said US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Andrew Schofer, APA reports quoting news.am
He noted that the October 16 meeting between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan was a positive sign of both Presidents’ commitment to work constructively with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs toward a peacefully negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“As a Co-Chair country, the United States remains committed to the Minsk Group process and continues to call upon the sides to honor the ceasefire and to continue negotiations at the highest levels, including taking steps towards fully implementing decisions taken at previous meetings, including Vienna and St. Petersburg. The Co-Chairs are currently working with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to identify the date for the next meeting, which they expect will take place in the coming weeks,” Andrew Schofer added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh district of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.