HAMBURG, Germany (ArmRadio)—Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamadyarov met with OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov, James Warlick and Stéphane Visconti and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk in Hamburg on Thursday, Armenian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tigran Balayan said in a Twitter post.
The meeting was initiated by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and was held on the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial council meeting that took place December 8-9 in Hamburg.
During the meeting, reference was made to issues outlined in the joint statement of the heads of delegation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, Nalbandian told reporters in Hamburg.
The Foreign Minister said there is no alternative to the negotiation process and Armenia is committed to working with the Co-Chairs towards an exceptionally peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) conflict.
“The April events constituted large-scale aggression accompanied by vicious atrocities strongly condemned by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in their statement,” Nalbandian said.
“The use of forces should be excluded, because it’s the use of force against the principle of self-determination that has created this conflict,” he added.
He stressed the importune of implementation of the agreements reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg summits.
“Azerbaijan, which had long been refusing to agree to the expansion of the monitoring mission, now agrees for the expansion of Andrzej Kasprzyk’s team, but denies the dislocation of monitors along the line of contact or in the region,” Nalbandian said.
He added that expansion of the OSCE Monitoring mission will not change much, but will at least be a symbolic step forward.
Nalbandian reiterated Armenia’s strong commitment to the 1994-1995 ceasefire agreements, the exceptionally peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict and the creation of mechanisms, not only an investigation mechanism, but also a restraining mechanism, that will help create an atmosphere more conducive to furthering the negotiation process.
There is still no consensus over the station of observers in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after the OSCE Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Hamburg, reported Armenpress.
“We have commented on the situation over the Karabakh conflict long ago in the context of agreements that were reached in Vienna at the meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE MG Co-Chairing countries, as well as in St. Petersburg at the meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev. The first agreement concerned the reestablishment of the ceasefire. The fire stopped, however, unfortunately, today, there are still violations from this perspective,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov stated that an agreement was reached over the issue of increasing the number of the OSCE observers.
“That number is small, the number of group members was added by 7, and the group has quite a modest number, as I know, it is comprised of 12 members. Yes, we think that those agreements must be strengthened by the OSCE decisions, and consensus is needed for that. There is a consensus on increasing the number of observers, however, where they must be stationed, no consensus yet. I, like many people, think that they must be stationed along the entire length of the line of contact,” Lavrov said.