OSCE Minsk Group hails results of recent Karabakh negotiations

OSCE Minsk Group hails results of recent Karabakh negotiations

PanARMENIAN.Net - The OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Jacques Faure (France), James Warlick (U.S.) and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Personal Representative Andrzej Kasprzyk conducted a series of meetings from February 22 to March 11 in Paris and Moscow. The Co-chairs met with the Azerbaijani, Armenian Foreign Ministers as well as Russian officials on March 12.

The Co-chairs continued working with the Ministers to address issues raised by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan during their November 2013 meeting in Vienna. The Ministers reiterated their desire to resolve the remaining issues, and move the process forward.

The Co-chairs emphasized the value of continued cooperation and agreed on the need for further talks at the highest level to advance the peace process. The Co-Chairs plan to visit the region in the next month.

In his Tweeter post the U.S. mediator Warlick hailed the Moscow-hosted talks noting that “the U.S., Russia, and France will work together to support efforts for peace.”

“Today, I had the privilege of meeting Russian diplomat Vladimir Kazimirov (the OSCE MG Co-chair in 1992-1996) whose efforts to bring peace in Karabakh will be long remembered,” Warlick tweeted.

Foreign Minister Nalbandian met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Personal Representative March 11 in Moscow.

The meeting focused on further steps for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, with the Co-chairs briefing Nalbandian on the results of the Paris meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov.

Mammadyarov met with OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs in Paris, Foreign Ministry spokesman on March 10, Elman Abdullayev told Trend earlier.

As the news agency reported, the meeting was attended by the OSCE MG Co-chairs and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Personal Representative. At the meeting, the parties expressed concern over the non-settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

According to Abdullayev, Mammadyarov reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s willingness to sign a comprehensive peace agreement in case Armenian troops are withdrawn from Karabakh-adjacent territories.

In an interview with APA, Russian Co-chair Igor Popov pointed out positive aspects in the conflict settlement talks. However, he said, approximation of positions remains a hard task.

"After a long break, another meeting of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia was held in Vienna on November 19, 2013. They discussed a range of issues on the settlement of Karabakh problem. The two sides decided to accelerate the process of negotiations. The main directions that require special attention were determined.

Ministers of Foreign Affairs were given relevant instructions, consultations were carried out on the basis of the instructions. Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian met twice. The most contentious issues were discussed in details at these meetings. The negotiations show that there are positive aspects. However, it is not so easy to bring closer the positions of the parties.

Difficulties in the negotiation process correspond to the complexity of the conflict. The parties intend to move forward. We are currently conducting consultations with our French and American colleagues, ministers separately.

We met with Nalbandian on February 22. We plan to meet Mammadyarov in the near future. If we achieve options that will satisfy the parties, joint meetings will be accessible, first at the ministerial level, and then the issue of summit will be considered, as agreed by the presidents in Vienna. We will continue our consultations in the region," Popov said.

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.

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