By Rashid Shirinov
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have reiterated their determination to contribute to the search for a peaceful solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
They made the remarks in a statement issued on June 14, following their visit to Armenia, where the co-chairs Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the U.S. as well as the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk met with the country’s authorities.
The sides reviewed the status of negotiations and discussed next steps to move forward the process of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the statement reads.
The parties also discussed a meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in the near future. They exchanged views on the current situation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and the line of contact, underscoring the importance of maintaining a constructive environment.
“The co-chairs reiterated their commitment to helping the sides find a peaceful solution to the conflict based on the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, including the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples,” the statement says.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
To this day, Armenia has not implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.
Azerbaijan has long ago stated it is ready to settle the conflict through direct negotiations with Armenia with mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. However, the Armenian side is constantly trying to make up reasons to avoid a constructive dialogue and preserve the unacceptable status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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