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James Warlick: OSCE MG waits for presidents’ consent to meet for Nagorno-Karabakh talks

The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group hope for the consent of the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to hold the next meeting on the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, MG’s U.S. co-chair James Warlick told RIA Novosti.

“We hope that the presidents will agree to the next meeting. Currently, the date and place of the next meeting is not defined”, Warlick said.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan twice since the April escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh, first in Vienna in May, and the second time in St. Petersburg in June along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Then, experts have positively assessed the intensification of talks, along with the signs of more constructive spirit of the talks.

He noted that the co-chairs work with the parties to the conflict in order to resolve the issue.

“During the UN General Assembly in New York, the co-chairs held separate meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg, as well as to discuss further steps,” Warlick said.

“We plan to hold meetings and discuss issues with the parties during our visit to the region by the end of the month”, the diplomat concluded.

Earlier, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov stated that the co-chairs plan to visit Azerbaijan and Armenia and perhaps, then they will determine which suggestions will be made for a possible meeting of the two countries’ presidents.

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. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan’s territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.

Two decades of talks mediated by the OSCE MG group have failed to produce a breakthrough, and the April hostilities, the worst since the ceasefire deal signed in 1994, were assessed as the result of inactivity of the international community.


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