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OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Concerned Over Recent Incidents Along the Frontlines
YEREVAN — The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States, Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, and Jacques Faure of France) and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk (Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office) traveled May 11-14 to Yerevan and Baku, where they met with Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev. The International mediators gave no indication of progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and issued the following statement.
“The Co-Chairs continued their discussions with the sides on how to implement the commitments made by Presidents Aliyev and Sarkisian in their January 23 joint statement in Sochi, including to “accelerate” reaching agreement on the Basic Principles as a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement, to work on the mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations, and to develop humanitarian contacts. The Co-Chairs expressed their concern over recent incidents along the frontlines, and urged the sides to exercise restraint and refrain from retaliation. The Co-Chairs welcomed the sides’ reaffirmation of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement,” the statement runs.
“The Co-Chairs also discussed with the sides the development of confidence-building measures in the military and people-to-people spheres to enhance trust and strengthen implementation of the 1994 ceasefire. In addition, the Co-Chairs discussed the importance of assessing and preserving at-risk sites of Armenian and Azeri cultural and historical value, in order to protect the shared heritage of the region’s peoples while negotiations continue toward a final and lasting peace. The Co-Chairs plan to continue discussions with the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in the near future,” the statement concluded.