OSCE hails Armenia and Azerbaijan's efforts to minimize violence

OSCE hails Armenia and Azerbaijan's efforts to minimize violence

PanARMENIAN.Net - The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs are satisfied with the positive effects of Armenia and Azerbaijan's efforts to minimize violence in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone during the summer period.

Igor Popov of Russia, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States met separately and jointly with Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov on the margins of the UN General Assembly. The Co-Chairs were joined in their meetings by the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk.

They also met with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák, and senior officials of the United Nations.

According to a statement the Co-Chairs issued after the meetings, they briefed the two Ministers on their activities since the joint meeting in Washington in June, including recent consultations in Paris and Geneva on the humanitarian and security dimensions of the conflict.

The mediators noted the positive effects of the sides’ efforts to minimize violence during the summer period, including the use of the existing direct communication links, and expressed deep regret over the recent fatality.

The Co-Chairs and the Ministers continued their discussion of additional measures to reduce tensions and sustain an atmosphere conducive to peace and favorable to substantive talks.

Recalling their 9 March statement, the Co-Chairs encouraged the sides to minimize the use of rhetoric that is inflammatory or prejudges the outcome of negotiations.

The OSCE envoys said they intend to visit the region in the near future.

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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