Stepanakert Seeks Co-Chairs’ Attention on Azeri Aggression

Spokesman for the President of Nagorno-Karabakh, Davit Babayan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)—It is not yet clear whether the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs will visit Stepanakert in their latest tour of the region, the spokesman of the President of Karabakh Davit Babayan told the press on Monday. But in the event that the Co-Chairs do visit for a meeting, Babayan assured that the President will give foremost attention to Azerbaijan’s most recent provocations near the border.

“The Co-Chairs are well-acquainted with Stepanakert’s position. They know that Stepanakert wants, first of all, full participation in all stages of the negotiation process, from beginning to end,” Babayan said. “It should be clear to everybody that there is no return to the past, in terms of both status and boundaries. We can never put our independence and security under question,” Davit Babayan said. He added that Stepanakert is in favor of a peaceful settlement of the conflict.

On Feb. 2, the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs arrived in the region. Armenpress reports, citing a twitter message from the US Co-Chair James Warlick, that the Co-Chairs intend to meet with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan during their visit. “We will meet with the presidents to find out if they are ready to make steps towards peac,” wrote Warlick in his tweet.

As reported by the Azerbaijani news agency APA, the OSCE Co-Chairs have arrived in Azerbaijan. French co-chair Jacques Faure and US co-chair James Warlick arrived in Baku on Feb. 2. On Feb. 3, the co-chairs will meet the president and minister of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev and Elmar Mamedyarov. After Baku they will visit Armenia. The situation of the settlement process of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict will be discussed at the meetings.

On Jan. 24 the ministers of foreign affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Edward Nalbandyan and Elmar Mamedyarov, met in Paris. The meeting was attended also by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk. The sides agreed on the forthcoming visit of the co-chairs to the region. They intend to organize a meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev.

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