By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The OSCE Minsk Group that mediates peaceful resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, has issued a statement about their recent visit to the region.
The Minsk Group co-chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Stephane Visconti (France) and Andrew Schofer of (the U.S.), together with Andrzej Kasprzyk, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (PRCIO), visited the region on October 14-17 October.
In a statement published at OSCE’s official website, the co-chairs said that they met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Yerevan on October 15 and with President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on October 17, and held consultations with the respective Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers in both capitals.
In occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, the mediators were briefed on humanitarian issues by the local representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
While visiting Azerbaijan, the co-chairs met with Tural Ganjaliyev, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders briefed the co-chairs on their recent talks during the CIS summit in Ashgabat and presented their ideas on how to advance the settlement process.
“The co-chairs welcomed the prospect of implementing specific humanitarian and security measures to prepare the populations for peace and reduce tensions,” reads the statement.
The co-chairs once again stressed the critical importance of monitoring missions led by the PRCIO, in accordance with his mandate and longstanding practice.
The co-chairs called on the sides to continue to support fully the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group and to ensure that any obstacles potentially interfering with monitoring missions are removed immediately, the statement reads
"The Foreign Ministers confirmed their intention to meet again under co-chair auspices before the end of the year. The co-chairs will travel soon to Vienna to brief the OSCE Permanent Council and the members of the Minsk Group,” accordging to the statement.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region began in February 1988 upon Armenia's territorial claims to Azerbaijan. The authorities of Azerbaijan lost control over the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding seven regions 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 unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijan's territories. However, due to the unconstructiveness of Armenia, these resolutions remain on paper.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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