OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák yesterday met in Bratislava with Minsk Group Co-Chair Andrew Schofer, of the United States of America, acting also on behalf of Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov of the Russian Federation and Stéphane Visconti of France, and Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk, reads the message.
“The Chairperson-in-Office was briefed on the results of the meeting between President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on 29 March in Vienna, the first meeting of the two leaders under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The Chairperson-in-Office welcomed the constructive atmosphere of the talks, and the leaders’ commitment to taking further, tangible steps to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.”
“We remain positive about, and fully supportive of, this process and the leaders’ commitment to strengthening the ceasefire and to undertaking measures in the humanitarian field,” Lajčák said.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan met on March 29 in Vienna for the first time under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America).
The meeting was also attended by Foreign Ministers Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Elmar Mammadyarov. Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, also participated in the meeting.
The statement issued on the results of the meeting reads that the two leaders underlined the importance of building up an environment conducive to peace and taking further concrete and tangible steps in the negotiation process to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
“Recalling their conversation in Dushanbe, the leaders recommitted to strengthening the ceasefire and improving the mechanism for direct communication. They also agreed to develop a number of measures in the humanitarian field,” said the statement.
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.