Hoagland: OSCE MG co-chairs looking for appropriate time to visit region
- 10 January 2017
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are holding consultations to find the most appropriate time for their next visit to the region, Ambassador Richard E. Hoagland, who assumed the position of US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group on an interim basis in January 2017, told APA on Tuesday.
“My fellow co-chairs and I are consulting closely to find the most appropriate time for our next visit to the region,” Hoagland said.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as the US Minsk Group co-chair. This is an issue I have followed throughout my career, much of which has focused on the post-Soviet space,” Hoagland said, commenting on his appointment as US Minsk Group co-chair.
“I know that a real resolution of this issue will require political will and leadership from all involved,” he noted.
Hoagland said he intends to work closely with his fellow Minsk Group co-chairs to encourage the sides to engage constructively to find a way forward.
“For my part, I know that the US Government remains committed to a peaceful settlement through the mediation of the co-chair countries,” he added.
Hoagland replaced Ambassador James B. Warlick, who stepped down on December 31, 2016.
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 region 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.