STEPANAKERT, December 18. /ARKA/. Karabakh should be back at the negotiating table at a certain stage as the future of people living there is being determined in the talks, OSCE Minsk Group Russian co-chair Igor Popov told reporters after his meeting with the president of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan.
After the work over fundamental principles is over, it will become possible to discuss this issue, Popov said as quoted by Novosti-Armenia.
Visits to Nagorno-Karabakh and meeting with its president are an attempt to involve Karabakh in the discussions, Popov said.
The co-chair noted the front line situation has been also discussed.
“Unfortunately, not everything is well the way we would like. Deaths continue to be recorded”, Popov said adding they will discuss the frontline situation and steps to stabilize it in the ministry of defense, karabakh-open.info website reports.
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-