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Karabakh conflict sides want to move beyond stalemate: diplomat

Karabakh conflict sides want to move beyond stalemate: diplomat

PanARMENIAN.Net - Recent talks between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Vienna and the Foreign Ministers in Kyiv have shown that the sides genuinely want to move beyond the current stalemate in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process, U.S. Co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group said.

“I was pleased the most recent meeting in Kyiv was a chance for the ministers to discuss sensitive and difficult issues in the spirit of finding a way forward. Their continued high-level engagement in the weeks ahead provides a real opportunity to deliver a just and peaceful resolution to this conflict, although we should recognize that progress requires political commitment at the highest level,” James Warlick said, quoted by Azerbaijan Press Agency.

“The ministers agreed last week to continue working together on the basis of what has already been achieved. At the same time, all parties are open to considering way to reach a lasting settlement. We will continue to support these negotiations in any way that will help them move forward,” the diplomat said.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Vienna on Nov 19 for the first time in two years. The meeting was later joined by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who afterwards made a statement.

According to the statement, during the tête-à-tête conversation, followed by a working meeting with the co-chairs, the leaders of the two countries’ discussed a wide range of issues related to the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Sargsyan and Aliyev agreed to promote further negotiations to achieve a peaceful solution and instructed Foreign Ministers to continue working with the co-chairs to achieve the goal.

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The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

The OSCE Minsk Group

The OSCE Minsk Group was created in 1992 to encourage a peaceful, negotiated resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The Minsk Group is headed by a Co-Chairmanship consisting of France, Russia and the United States. The main objectives of the Minsk Process are as follows: Providing an appropriate framework for conflict resolution in the way of assuring the negotiation process supported by the Minsk Group; Obtaining conclusion by the Parties of an agreement on the cessation of the armed conflict in order to permit the convening of the Minsk Conference; Promoting the peace process by deploying OSCE multinational peacekeeping forces.

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