‘No Military Solution’ to Karabakh Conflict, OSCE Reasserts

Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian meets with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic

MUNICH, Germany—The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, met the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of Russia, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France) Saturday on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier and the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, also joined the meeting.

“We all agree that the military situation along the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border is deteriorating, posing a threat to regional stability and endangering the lives of civilians,” a statement issued by the Minsk Group following the meeting said. “The 12 casualties and 18 wounded cited by Ambassador Kasprzyk’s monitoring reports in January represent the highest confirmed number of victims in the first month of a year since the 1994 ceasefire agreement. After 2014, in which approximately 60 people lost their lives, we are alarmed that this disturbing violent trend has continued.”

“There is no military solution to the conflict, and the sides must cease using force,” the statement continued. “We call on the sides to end incursions, cease targeting villages and civilians, stop the threat of reprisals and the use of asymmetric force, and take additional steps to reduce tensions and strengthen the ceasefire. We find it unacceptable that the security guarantees are not fully observed during OSCE monitoring exercises.

“Additionally, we reaffirm the December 4, 2014 joint statement of the Heads of Delegation of the Co-Chair countries at the Basel Ministerial Council, calling on the sides to settle humanitarian issues, including the return of bodies and prisoners, in the spirit of the Astrakhan statement of October 2010.

“The Minsk Group Co-Chairs, with the full support of the Chairperson-in-Office, are prepared to host an intensified negotiation process that can bring to a peaceful end to a conflict that has scarred the region for too long. We strongly urge the sides to find the political will to begin this process immediately without excuses.”

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met with Ivica Dacic on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Nalbandian congratulated his Serbian counterpart on the occasion of assuming the OSCE Chairmanship since January 1 and expressed Armenia’s support of Serbia’s OSCE chairmanship.

The two officials discussed the Artsakh peace process. The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office expressed his deep concern over the rise of tension along the line of contact and reiterated the importance of fully adhering to the cease-fire regime.

Nalbandian stressed that despite numerous calls from international leaders, Baku continues its extremist approach, leading the negotiation process to a deadlock.

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