By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has met OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs via a videoconference to discuss the current situation over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the ministry reported in its website on June 29.
During the meeting, Mammadyarov raised the issue of illegal activities, including illegal settlement and infrastructure projects carried out by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Igor Popov (Russia), Stéphane Visconti (France), and Andrew Schofer (USA) and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk emphasized the significance of establishing direct contacts between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia at the earliest opportunity.
A meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries is planned to be held on June 30. The meeting will be in the format of a video conference with the mediation and participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office.
It should be noted that on May 18, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs agreed to work on determining the date and time of the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia with the mediation of the Minsk Group co-chairs after the softening of the outbreak.
Earlier, on 21 April, with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers, Elmar Mammadyarov and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict according to the joint statement adopted in Geneva in a video-conference.
It should be noted that this year the first meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk took place in Geneva on 28-30 January.
Azerbaijan and Armenia are locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh breakaway region, which along with seven adjacent regions was occupied by Armenian forces in a war in the early 1990s. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and around one million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
The OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the United States, Russia and France has been mediating the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict since the signing of the volatile cease-fire agreement in 1994. The Minsk Group’s efforts have resulted in no progress and to this date, Armenia has failed to abide by the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) that demand the withdrawal of Armenian military forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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