Andrew J. Schofer, the new U.S. Co-Chair for the OSCE Minsk Group, will pay his first visit to Yerevan and Baku this week to meet with local officials and to get a firsthand look at the situation on the ground, said the message from the US embassy in Baku.
While in the region, Schofer will also join his fellow Minsk Group co-chairs for high-level meetings.
The US supports a negotiated settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and will continue to engage actively with the sides as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.
Schofer, as the US co-chair, supports the United States’ longstanding policy, shared by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, that a just settlement must be based on international law, which includes the Helsinki Final Act and the principles of the non-use of force or threat of force, territorial integrity, and equal rights and self-determination.
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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