YEREVAN, October 29. /ARKA/. The OSCE Minsk Co-Chairs stressed the importance of reducing tensions among the parties, involved into Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports Monday.
“On October 27 Foreign Minister of Armenia, Edward Nalbandian met with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States of America, Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, and Jacques Faure of France and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk. Afterward, the meeting was continued by the participation of the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov,” the report states.
According to the source, they presented their ideas on a working proposal to advance the peace process.
The Foreign Ministers reiterated their determination to continue working with the Co-Chairs to reach a peaceful settlement. The Ministers and the Co-Chairs agreed to a further discussion of these ideas during the Co-Chairs’ visit to the region in November.
The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh broke out in 1988 after the predominantly Armenian-populated Karabakh declared about secession from Azerbaijan.
As Azerbaijan declared its independence from the Soviet Union and removed the powers held by the Karabakh’s government, the Armenian majority voted in 1991, December 10, to secede from Azerbaijan and in the process proclaimed the enclave the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. Full-scale fighting, initiated by Azerbaijan, erupted in the late winter of 1992. International mediation by several groups including Europe's OSCE’s failed to bring an end resolution that both sides could work with.
In the spring of 1993, Armenian forces captured regions outside the enclave itself. By the end of the war in 1994, the Armenians were in full control of most of the enclave and also held and currently control seven regions beyond the administrative borders of Nagorno-Karabakh. Almost 1 million people on both sides have been displaced as a result of the conflict. A Russian- -brokered ceasefire was signed in May 1994 and peace talks, mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, have been held ever since by Armenia and Azerbaijan. -0-