YEREVAN — The Azerbaijani authorities have reportedly pledged to refrain from the threat or use of force against the civilian aircrafts of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Summing up the outcomes of their visit to the South Caucasus region, the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group renewed assurances from both sides that they will reject any threat or use of force against civil aircraft, pursue the matter through diplomatic steps, and refrain from politicizing the issue.
Following is the text of the statement:
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 July 10-13 to Baku, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Yerevan.
In Baku, the Co-Chairs met with President Aliyev and Foreign Minister Mammadyarov; in Nagorno-Karabakh they met with de facto authorities; in Yerevan, they met with President Sarkisian, Foreign Minister Nalbandian, and Defense Minister Ohanian. On July 11, the Co-Chairs again crossed the Line of Contact by foot. On July 12, they traveled from Nagorno-Karabakh to Yerevan via Kelbajar, their first visit to that region since the October 2010 Field Assessment Mission. In all their meetings, the Co-Chairs reaffirmed their countries’ resolute commitment to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as the Presidents of the three Co-Chair countries emphasized in their June 18 joint statement at Los Cabos.
The Co-Chairs continued discussions from their June 18 meeting in Paris with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Co-Chairs expressed their deep concern over recent incidents along the frontlines, and reiterated that the sides’ political will to achieve peace is best demonstrated by refraining from maximalist positions, respecting the 1994 ceasefire agreement, and abstaining from hostile public rhetoric.
Regarding reports of the planned opening of an airport in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Co-Chairs received renewed assurances from the sides that they will reject any threat or use of force against civil aircraft, pursue the matter through diplomatic steps, and refrain from politicizing the issue. The Co-Chairs reaffirmed that operation of this airport cannot be used to support any claim of a change in the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, and urged the sides to act in accordance with international law and consistent with current practice for flights over their territory.
The Co-Chairs plan to meet again separately with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to prepare for a joint meeting of the Ministers in September.