OSCE MG co-chairs start visit to region
- 10 June 2017
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, Stephane Visconti of France, Richard Hoagland of the US and the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk arrived in Armenia on June 10.
The co-chairs discussed the situation in the conflict zone with Armenia’s Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan, APA reported.
The Minsk Group co-chairs are also scheduled to have meetings with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.
They will also visit to Khankendi, an Azerbaijani district occupied by Armenia.
The co-chairs will arrive in Baku on June 19.
The co-chairs will issue a statement following their visit to the region.
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 December 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.