On the occasion of the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Kyiv, the Heads of Delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries - Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov, Minister for European Affairs of France Thierry Repentin, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov and Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian agreed to continue working together on a just and peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis what has been already achieved, OSCE reported today.
The Co-Chair Heads of Delegation welcomed the recent resumption of high-level dialogue between the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia, and expressed their hope that upcoming meetings will advance the peace process. They encouraged the sides to consider measures that would reduce tensions in the region, OSCE official website reported.
The Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed to meet again in early 2014 under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, in order to facilitate further talks at the highest level. The Ministers noted that the people of the region expect and deserve progress in settlement of the conflict that has endured far too long, and expressed their appreciation for the mediation role of the Co-Chair countries.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.