The OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs expect the sides of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to strictly adhere to the ceasefire, the OSCE Minsk Group’s US co-chair James Warlick said, RIA Novosti reported.
“We expect from the sides strict adhering to the ceasefire, which has largely been provided after the meeting in Vienna. Any resume of the use of force will be strongly condemned by the mediators and co-chair countries,” Warlick said.
He stressed that the mediators called the sides for implementation of the agreements made in Vienna and St. Petersburg, which include the expansion of the OSCE monitoring group, the coordination of proposals on creation of investigation mechanisms of frontline incidents, the continuation of negotiations, which could lead to a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.
“It was encouraging for us to see the resumption of substantive negotiations between the sides in Saint Petersburg. The expansion of the monitoring mission is the next step. Along with these efforts, the co-chairs have not stopped working with the sides on the investigation mechanisms proposal,” Warlick 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.
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