Popov: Minsk Group co-chairsâ€™ latest statement addressed to both sides
- 19 June 2017
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs deeply regret the recent escalation at the frontline, Russian co-chair Igor Popov told reporters in Baku on Monday, APA reported.
The diplomat said that they discussed this issue with the Azerbaijani president and defense minister.
“We deeply regret repeated ceasefire violations on the eve of our visit to the region. We should do our utmost to avoid similar recurrences,” said Popov pledging every effort to reduce the tension.
As for the last statement of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Popov said: “The last statement was addressed to both sides and the main goal was aimed at reducing the tension on the contact line.”
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.