STEPANAKERT, December 18. /ARKA/. James Warlick and Jacques Faure, the U.S. and French co-chairs of OSCE Minsk Group met with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic's nongovernmental organizations today in Stepanakert Press Club, Novosti-Armenia correspondent in Stepanakert reports.
The co-chairs informed the representatives of nongovernmental organizations about the process of negotiation over settlement of Karabakh conflict, and NGOs' representatives informed the co-chairs about their peace-building efforts.
Issues related to peace process were discussed at the meeting. NGO representatives pointed out the necessity of changing methodology and philosophy of the settlement process, Novosti-Armenia reports.
It was stressed at the meeting that ties between official talks (Track-1) and civil peace-keeping process (Track-2) should become closer and mechanisms should be searched for their effective interaction and for attraction of large sections of the public to this peace process.
Karabakh conflict broke out in 1988 when Karabakh, mainly populated by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan.
On December 10, 1991, a few days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum took place in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the majority of the population (99.89%) voted for secession from Azerbaijan.
Afterwards, large-scale military operations began. As a result, Azerbaijan lost control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven regions adjacent to it.
Some 30,000 people were killed in this war and about one million people fled their homes. On May 12, 1994, the Bishkek cease-fire agreement put an end to the military operations.Since 1992, talks brokered by OSCE Minsk Group are being held over peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is co-chaired by USA, Russia and France. -0---