Nalbandian, Lavrov meet in Moscow as Warlick prays for Karabakh settlement

Nalbandian, Lavrov meet in Moscow as Warlick prays for Karabakh settlement

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Armenia’s joining the Customs Union and Common Economic Space, as well as the Eurasian Economic Union.

The ministers also touched upon a number of bilateral and international issues, including resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Meanwhile, OSCE Minsk Group U.S. Co-chair James Warlick tweeted: “What a wonderful Easter! My prayer is for a lasting settlement on #Nagorno-Karabakh. How can the US help? We must find a way.”

Warlick said last week that he is “deeply concerned over continued violence on the contact line of Azerbaijani and Armenian troops, and its potential to damage the peace process.”

"All sides should focus on reducing violence and rhetoric in order to improve the atmosphere for negotiations. Recent deaths and injuries show this is a dangerous conflict with no winners," Warlick told Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency.

He said that OSCE and all of its institutions support the Co-chairs' efforts to help the sides to reach a peaceful settlement of this conflict.

Warlick added that the events in the region have only underscored the urgency of this task.

"The sides should seize this moment to take bold steps to advance the peace process - whether it is implementing confidence building measures or people-to-people programs, eliminating the use of force as an option once and for all," he 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.

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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