- Nagorno Garabagh
OSCE MG: Respect for ceasefire is of utmost importance for further talks on Karabakh conflict
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France and Richard Hoagland of the United States of America), together with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, traveled to Baku (March 11), Yerevan (March 27) and Nagorno-Karabakh (March 28), says a statement issued by the OSCE MG on Mar. 29.
“The main purpose of the co-chairs’ visits to the region was to receive the most current detailed political and military information on the Line of Contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, to discuss the implementation of agreements reached at 2016 Summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg and to address the next steps toward a settlement,” says the statement.
The co-chairs met with the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia. They also visited territories around Nagorno-Karabakh. In their talks, the co-chairs reiterated their deep concern over recent incidents along the Line of Contact, calling on the sides to exercise restraint in their rhetoric and in their actions. The Presidents laid out their positions on the co-chairs’ proposals to strengthen the ceasefire and to avoid further escalation of hostilities, particularly in light of the Novruz and Easter holidays. They expressed their commitment to continuing the negotiation process toward a political solution, says the statement.
According to the statement, in their talks, the co-chairs stressed the essential importance of continued support for Ambassador Kasprzyk’s mission and its expansion.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs also emphasized their conviction that respect for the ceasefire is of the utmost importance for building an atmosphere of trust to enable further negotiations, says the statement.
The co-chairs will soon travel to Vienna to brief the members of the Minsk Group, according to the statement.
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.
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