By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers met in New York on 23 September to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The meeting was overshadowed by the killing of an Azerbaijani soldier by Armenian forces on 22 September.
“The meeting between the two foreign ministers in New York to define the current situation of the talks over the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was again marked by the killing of an Azerbaijani serviceman on the line of contact. Azerbaijan, by all means, will follow the case and those who are involved are going to be punished,” the Azerbaijani MFA said in a statement posted on its official website on 24 September.
“With regard to the meeting of the FMs, there were just exchanges of views on the existing talks with the understanding that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs need to expand their efforts to bring peace to the region and the respect to international norms, principles, and orders in the region,” the MFA’s statement concluded.
OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs: Igor Popov (Russia), Stephane Visconti (France) and Andrew Schofer (the U.S.), as well as Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, also took part in the meeting between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan.
Mammadyarov later met with the OSCE Secretary-General Thomas Greminger on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
During the meeting, Mammadyarov brought to Greminger’s attention the importance that Azerbaijan attaches to cooperation with the OSCE. During the meeting, the sides also touched upon the cooperation programs between Azerbaijan and the OSCE.
Mammadyarov further stressed that the illegal presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan constitutes a major threat to peace and security in the region.
Mammadyarov filled in Greminger about the current situation of the settlement process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including the most recent meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs in New York.
He pointed out to the necessity of the conflict settlement based on the norms and principles of international law, Helsinki Final Act and UN Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the decisions and resolutions of the OSCE and other international organizations. The sides stressed that the resolution of the conflict is vital for achieving durable peace, security, and progress in the region.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region began in February 1988 upon Armenia's territorial claims to neighboring Azerbaijan. The authorities of Azerbaijan lost control over the Nagorno-Karabakh during the subsequent military conflict.
Since 1992, negotiations have been underway for a peaceful settlement of the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. In 1993, the UN Security Council adopted four resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. However, due to the unconstructiveness of Armenia, they still remain on paper.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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