YEREVAN (Public Radio of Armenia)—The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group together with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, held a meeting on September 24 with Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian, and a separate meeting on September 25 with Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov. They also met jointly with the two foreign ministers to discuss the immediate need to reduce tensions along the line of contact and international border, to advance negotiations on a lasting settlement, and to implement confidence-building measures. The ministers agreed to continue preparations with the Co-Chairs on the next presidential summit, which is expected to be held before the end of this year.
The Co-Chairs called for the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to accept an OSCE mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations. Without such a mechanism, the sides will continue to blame each other for initiating deadly attacks on the line of contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Armenia has agreed to discuss the details of the mechanism, and Azerbaijan was urged to do the same.
The Co-Chairs condemned in strong terms the use of artillery that caused additional casualties in the last twenty-four hours. They extended their deepest condolences to the families of the deceased. An escalation of violence is not in the interest of Azerbaijanis or Armenians, or a negotiated settlement, the Co-Chairs stated.
The Co-Chairs encouraged the sides to implement people-to-people programs to build trust between societies affected by the conflict.
On September 27, Nalbandian met with OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.
During the meeting reference was made to the expansion of Armenian-Serbian relations, the implementation of the priorities of the Serbian presidency, as well as issues on the OSCE agenda.
Nalbandian and Dacic hailed the stable dynamic development of bilateral relations between Armenia and Serbia. In this regard, reference was made to the opening of embassies in Yerevan and Belgrade, liberalization of visa requirements, and the establishment of direct flights between the two countries.
The foreign ministers also discussed the settlement process of the Karabakh conflict and the support of the Serbian presidency to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ efforts.
Dacic expressed his deep concern over the escalation of tension in the conflict zone and emphasized the importance of maintaining the ceasefire regime.
Nalbandian noted that “Baku does not refuse from its non-constructive position and provocations despite the calls of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs.”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the urgent issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process with the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, TASS reports, quoting the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“Urgent issues of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, the current situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the contact line were discussed,” the ministry said.
“The Minsk Group Co-Chairs are committed to seeking new solutions and implementing the existing ones towards the settlement of the Karabakh conflict,” Lavros said Sunday.
“I’m very glad for this opportunity to compare notes and see what else we can do in addition to the steps taken to achieve progress in the settlement process,” the Russian Foreign Minister said at the beginning of the meeting with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
“Every co-chairing country is committed to the process, be it a French, American or Russian initiative in this direction,” Lavrov said.