Co-Chairs Condemn Civilian Attacks, No Agreement After Regional Visit

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen during a press conference Saturday in Yerevan


The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen during a press conference Saturday in Yerevan

The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen during a press conference Saturday in Yerevan

YEREVAN—The OSCE Minks Group co-chairmen condemned the attacks on civilian targets during last week’s savage attacks by Azerbaijan against all fronts of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, during which soldiers and civilians, among them a 12-year-old boy and an elderly couple who were brutally killed and their bodies mutilated.

The Minsk Group Co-Chairmen, Igor Popov (Russia), Pierre Andrieu (France) and James Warlick (the US), as well as the personal representative of chairman in office Andrzej Kasprzyk, held a press conference on Saturday following meetings with Armenian officials in Yerevan.

Warlick said that they have seen the images and videos emanating from the battlefield, which depict the brutality of human rights violations. After condemning these incidents he said that the co-chairmen have met with the representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and delegated them to ascertain all the data. He also noted that they have raised this issue in the capitals, and that it is in the center of their attention.

“We’re deeply distressed by the reports of human right violations, with the photos and videos we’ve seen. We’ve asked our partners at the ICRC to investigate what happened exactly. We’re deeply troubled by any human right violation,” said Warlick.

Popov, the Russian co-chairman, explained that their main mission is to ensure the prevention of reoccurrence of military actions, and said that they have no mandate to investigate who started the recent hostilities.

Popov said one of the most important issues today is the return of the bodies of the killed soldiers, and the ICRC, as well as Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk’s team are engaged in the search works.

Referring to the issue on the negotiating table and the so called “Lavrov initiatives,” Popov said “it has been mentioned on many occasions that there is a new document on the table. There are proposal of the Co-Chairs, which have been discussed over the past few years. They are based on three principles and six elements,” Popov said.

“These principles include non-use of force, the right of peoples to self-determination and territorial integrity. As for the elements, the two most important ones are related to the determination of the status of Nagorno Karabakh and the return of territories. Other elements are related to return of refugees, determination of the width of the corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno Karabakh and peacekeeping mission,” the Russian Co-Chair said.

Popov added, however, that the issue of peacekeepers should be discussed at the final stage, after the conclusion of a peace deal.

As for the prospects for Nagorno Karabakh to return to the negotiating table, Popov said “we’ve said on many occasions that Karabakh should return to talks at a certain stage. “Conclusion of a framework agreement preceding the preparation of a peace deal could be a starting point,” he added.

The French Co-Chair Pierre Andrieu reiterated that they are not authorized to investigate which side was responsible for the resumption of military actions.

“What’s important for us is to ensure that the agreement on ceasefire reached in Moscow is maintained as long as possible, and to resume the political negotiations,” he added.

As for Turkey’s suuport for Azerbain and the possibility of that country’s exclusion from the Minsk Group, Warlick said “no changes in the Minsk Group are expected.” “As you know we met in Vienna for the first time in years and adopted a strong statement. Turkey joined this statement and endorsed it. We’re looking forward to working with all Minsk Group members, including Turkey,” he concluded.


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  1. Satenik said:

    Empty condemnation mean sweet F.A. We want them to act otherwise Armenians are sick and tired of these “condemnations” . We have lost many precious lives and all they can come up with is even more rhetoric. So you have come all the way to condemn it? Well next time don’the even bother showing up!!!! Action speaks louder than words and it is Action that we need NOW!

  2. Reader said:

    During the recent escalation, the Armenian response at the contact line should have been much more powerful. Azeris gave Artsakh and Armenia a huge excuse, we could have taken out their strategic infrastructures and pipelines. Every dollar that they make from oil/gas sales is a security threat for Armenians, and that threat must be removed. This is the source of the problem. It’s not enough just to be defending; we must be able to fully use the opportunities that arise in these situations. Additionally, without the ability to sell oil or gas, Azerbaijan’s value for the west will drop to zero.

  3. Alvin said:

    they failed to call out the guilty party, instead being very vague and not pointing out the obvious aggressor (AZERBAIJAN)

  4. Argo said:

    What is the purpose of a peace organization then if they do nothing to address the source of violence? A child has more sense than these people.

  5. Samuel Darbinian said:

    The solidarity & unity of diaspora Armenians with Artsakh & motherland Armenia is a moral understanding. It is long time Azari coward president Alieve continuously violating artsakh & Armenias border, while Armenian political leaders responding passively Then trying to convince the superiority of Armenian army against its arch enemy.
    On the 1sth April Azaris exerted all out war against Artsakh which caused heavy human & material losses, thankfully after 4 days Azari aggression has been neutralized, the question is why Armenian political leader ship succumbed in Azari pledge for un time peace truce, before creating security line of defence inside territory of Azarbaijan & force Azaris think they have a disastrous psyco path leader driving them to nowhere, instead Armenian leaders helped Alieve run away from his certain destiny of political mutilation.
    At this moment Alieve is recovering in the Russian life support incubator also Russian political Dr.s optimistic to see signs of Alieves future terrorist activity. besides Russians in this days Baku is crowded with every kind of terrorist jihadists including hard lie, hot line. soft & sweet jihadists to express their allegiance & sympathy to their living martyr parasite alieve terrorist brother.
    Only united Armenians is a real solution to all of these problems. in a free democratic Armenia.

  6. Alex Postallian said: