YEREVAN, December 24. /ARKA/. US Department of State has appointed a new acting US chair of OSCE Minsk Group on Karabakh peace process, Novosti-Armenia Agency reported referring to the press secretary of US Embassy in Armenia Taguhi Jahukyan.
The new acting US chair of OSCE Minsk Group ambassador Ian Kelly replaced Robert Bradtke who was appointed to the post in September 2009.
Ian Kelly has been US representative to OSCE since 2010. In 2007-2009, Kelly headed the Russian section in the US Department of State. Before 2007, he worked in US embassy in Turkey.
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. -0-