Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group will visit the region later this month and hope to meet with the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, although specific dates are not yet known, US co-chair of the OSCE MG James Warlick told APA on Oct. 6.
He noted that the co-chairs welcome the willingness of France to host the next summit meeting.
France, Russia, and the United States – as co-chairs of the Minsk Group – have worked together closely to pursue mediation efforts that can bring about a lasting peace, Warlick added.
Asked by whether a time out can be observed in the negotiation process ahead of the parliamentary elections in Armenia next year, Warlick replied: While I am not in a position to comment on elections in Armenia, the parties are committed to a peaceful settlement and we do not expect that to change.
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.