YEREVAN (Public Radio of Armenia)—The OSCE Minks Group Co-Chairs said in a statement today that attempts to change the format of negotiations on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict or create parallel mechanisms can disrupt the negotiation process and impede progress towards a settlement.
The statement comes in response to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) decision to approve a report that endorses Azerbaijan’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The full statement reads as follows:
In response to questions received by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group about the report and draft resolution currently under discussion in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), we take note of the attention paid by PACE to a Nagorno-Karabakh settlement. We share concerns, expressed in the resolution, regarding an increase of tensions along the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan and along the Line of Contact. We deeply regret the loss of lives, including civilians.
We agree that the conflict has lasted too long. The sides should undertake all measures necessary to expedite a peaceful settlement.
We are convinced that measures to reach a negotiated settlement should be based on mutual agreement between the sides as emphasized in the Joint Statements made by the Presidents of France, the Russian Federation, and the United States, and supported by the international community.
The Co-Chairs will continue to render assistance to the parties, taking into consideration our mandate, approved by the OSCE. According to the OSCE mandate, our task is to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict and in particular to facilitate negotiations on a comprehensive settlement. We are neither judges nor advocates for particular positions.
There are proposals to create new negotiating formats and working groups on the settlement of the conflict. We believe that in the framework of the Minsk Group there is unique mediation experience. The Minsk Group format is accepted by the parties and has the full confidence of all OSCE participating States. Considering the sensitivity of the negotiations, attempts to change the format or create parallel mechanisms can disrupt the negotiation process and impede progress towards a settlement. At the same time, we are prepared to cooperate with all international organizations, which demonstrate an interest in finding a just and sustainable settlement to the conflict.