STEPANAKERT, December 18. /ARKA/. Restarting talks with full involvement of Stepanakert and renouncing Azerbaijan’s aggressive and destructive policy are the key preconditions for the peace process, president of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan said at his meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
The meeting of the president with the Co-Chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Jacques Faure (France), James Warlick (USA) and the accompanying participants took place in Stepanakert Tuesday. A number of issues on the peace process and regional matters were discussed at the meeting.
The sides stressed the importance of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict and ruling out use of force, according to the report.
The meeting was attended by NKR’s foreign minister Karen Mirzoyan, personal representative to OSCE chairman-in-office Andjey Kasprshik and other officials.
The Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when prevailingly Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh declared withdrawal from Azerbaijan. On December 10, 1991, a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh where 99.89% voted for independence from Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan responded by large-scale military operations that led to loss of control not only over Nagorno-Karabakh itself, but also over seven adjoining areas. About 25-30 thousands people were killed and about a million had to leave their homes during the military operations.
A trilateral cease-fire agreement was signed on May 12, 2004, and has been followed since then.
The ongoing Karabakh peace process started in 1992 under auspices of OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France. -0-