By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers have discussed the possible next steps to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the meetings held in Geneva on January 28-30 under the auspices of the OSC Minsk Group.
Timing and agenda for advancing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process were the topic of discussion during the meetings, according to the joint statement made by Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers and co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the U.S.) and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk on January 30.
As was noted, over the three days of intensive discussions, the FMs also discussed implementation of agreements and proposals discussed in 2019 and possible next steps to prepare the populations for peace; principles and elements forming the basis of a future settlement and the possible next steps to resolve the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"The co-chairs reiterated their full commitment to helping the sides find a peaceful solution to the conflict and the principle of confidentiality in the settlement process, as well as the need for creativity and a spirit of compromise to achieve a fair and lasting peace. The ministers agreed to meet again in the near future under co-chair auspices," the statement reads.
Earlier, a meeting consisting of two rounds between Azerbaijani and Armenian FMs was held in Geneva with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and personal representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office on 28-30 January 2020.
The meeting in Geneva was marked with the most intensive discussions held between the sides over the last years. The sides held thorough discussions over the agenda items presented by the co-chairs.
In particular, the proposals put forward in 2019 and the agreements, in particular, humanitarian exchanges focusing on preparation of the population of both countries for peace, were discussed.
This includes the issues related to the implementation of agreements and proposals discussed in 2019, particularly the humanitarian exchanges for preparation of the populations of both countries for peace, the basic principles and elements of the settlement process.
It also includes the conflict resolution based on the provisions and principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and lastly, the ways of further intensification of the settlement process. In this regard, the ministers agreed to meet again in the near future.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on the country. Since the war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied around 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The Minsk Group’s Co-Chairs are mandated to provide an appropriate framework for conflict resolution in the way of assuring the negotiation process; to obtain conclusion by the Parties of an agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict in order to permit the convening of the Minsk Conference, and to promote the peace process by deploying OSCE multinational peacekeeping forces.
Unfortunately, for nearly 25 years, the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem have yielded no concrete results.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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