YEREVAN, December 9. /ARKA/. Foreign ministers of OSCE countries made a joint statement on Karabakh problem after the meeting in Kiev saying they are supporting resumption of Armenia-Azerbaijan high-level dialogue.
The document welcomes the December 5 statement of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s foreign ministers and the agreement to continue joint efforts for reaching a fair and peaceful settlement based on the previous achievements.
The foreign ministers welcomed resumption of the high-level dialogue between the two presidents and expressed hope the upcoming meetings will help reach advancement in the peace process, according to the statement made by 57 delegations of OSCE countries.
The foreign ministers have also urged the sides to take measures to relieve tension in the region.
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—