OSCE hopes a meeting between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia could soon take place, Giovanni Davoli, press officer of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship, told APA.
“Armenia has a new head of state and elections in Azerbaijan will be held in a few days. Our hope is that a meeting between the two Heads of State could soon take place. We acknowledged that steps forwards have been taken upon the last meetings at the highest level between Armenia and Azerbaijan, when the seeds of a deeper mutual confidence were spread, thus creating a more conducive environment for compromise,” he noted.
As for the fulfillment of the agreements reached by the two presidents on expansion of the Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and creation of the mechanisms to investigate incidents, Davoli said that discussions are ongoing on this issue.
“Positive developments are not enshrined in an OSCE decision but rather in the two parties’ genuine will. Whereas Armenia and Azerbaigian agree to speed up the pace, the agreement reached in Krakow will find a steady implementation,” the press officer 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 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.