MEXICO — The United States, France, and Russia have issued a joint statement calling on Armenia and Azerbaijan to take “decisive steps” to resolve the long-running conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
The statement issued by the three presidents, Barack Obama, Vladimir V. Putin and François Hollande, at the Group of 20 meeting in Mexico, faulted the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan for not following steps toward an agreement urged last year. The statement called on them to move swiftly to make “the important decisions necessary to reach a lasting and peaceful settlement.”
The three countries are the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group, which is charged with finding a negotiated settlement.
“Military force will not resolve the conflict and would only prolong the suffering and hardships endured by the peoples of the region for too long,” the presidents said. “Only a peaceful, negotiated settlement can allow the entire region to move beyond the status quo toward a secure and prosperous future.”
Also on June 18, the ambassadors of the three Minsk Group countries met in Paris with the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers.
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group reiterated deep concern over recent incidents along the front lines and stressed the need to respect the 1994 ceasefire agreement. The Foreign Ministers expressed their determination to continue working with the Co-Chairs to reach a peaceful settlement, and their readiness to carry out confidence-building measures that could improve the atmosphere for negotiations.