Russian FM, OSCE MG co-chairs mull Karabakh conflict
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has received OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and discussed topical issues of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the Russian foreign ministry said Sept. 8.
According to the message, Lavrov and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs James Warlick (US), Igor Popov (Russia) and Pierre Andrieu (France), and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, including the pace of implementing the agreements reached at the summits on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Vienna on May 16 and St. Petersburg on June 20.
The sides also discussed the current situation on the contact line of Armenian and Azerbaijani troops, the message said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
In a joint statement made following a meeting in St. Petersburg, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan confirmed the agreements reached at the recent Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Vienna aimed at stabilizing the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and creating an atmosphere contributing to the peace process.
For this purpose, the sides agreed on increasing the number of international observers in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.