Minsk Group Urges Sides to Observe Agreements

(From left to right) Armenian flag, flags of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair representing countries (USA, Russia, France), and the OSCE flag
(From left to right) Armenian flag, flags of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair representing countries (USA, Russia, France), and the OSCE flag

(From left to right) Armenian flag, flags of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair representing countries (USA, Russia, France), and the OSCE flag

MOSCOW/PARIS/WASHINGTON (OSCE)—The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Richard Hoagland of the United States), released the following statement on January 9:

“Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of a December 29, 2016 attempted incursion on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border resulting in casualties. Armenian Armed Forces are still holding the body of an Azerbaijan serviceman killed in the fighting.

Violations of the ceasefire are unacceptable and are contrary to the acknowledged commitments of the Parties, who bear full responsibility, not to use force. The Co-Chairs urge the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to strictly observe the agreements reached during summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg in 2016, including obligations to finalize in the shortest possible time an OSCE investigative mechanism. The Co-Chairs also urge the return, without delay, of human remains, in accord with the agreements of the Astrakhan Summit of 2010, bearing in mind the exclusively humanitarian nature of this issue. We call upon the Parties to cease mutual accusations and undertake all necessary measures to stabilize the situation on the ground.

The Co-Chairs extend their condolences to the families of the fallen soldiers and to all Armenians and Azerbaijanis for whom hopes for the New Year have been darkened with the grief of senseless loss.”

In response to the OSCE Minsk Group statement, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian during an interview with Armenpress said “We agree that the ceasefire violations are unacceptable.”

“We also share the view that agreements reached at the summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg should be strictly observed, including the creation of an OSCE investigative mechanism in the shortest possible time,” he said.

The Foreign Minister said that the Co-Chairs on numerous occasions “have pointed to the side which rejects the creation of such mechanism, therefore that side bears full responsibility for the incidents and ceasefire violations.”

“We hope the Co-Chairs will be consistent in strongly responding to any use of force or the threat of force in the conflict zone, especially considering that ceasefire violations result in human losses. We must not allow a delayed response to be accepted by the violators of the ceasefire as tolerance towards their actions,” Nalbandian stated.

“When Azerbaijan hinders the creation of investigation mechanism and the expansion of capabilities of the team of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, the Co-Chairs remain the only format which could and should continue its preventive activity in accordance to its mandate,” the Armenian Foreign Minister stated.

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3 Comments

  1. Ararat said:

    Keep the body of the dead pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani aggressor to rot and send it back in their upcoming Novruz (New Year) celebrations as a gift but decapitate it with an ax first and send it in two pieces with the Artsakh flag engraved on the skull and the Armenian flag on the rest. Give them a big dose and a bitter taste of their own coward and barbaric medicine. Let them know what goes around comes around!

    If they show barbarism toward our people then we must respond in the same manner but in a thousand folds. Never give an inch to these anti-Armenian fascist Turkish and pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani illegal occupiers and make sure to always put them in their place!

  2. David Dilanchian said:

    WHEN AZERBAIJAN HINDERS THE CREATION OF INVESTIGATION MECHANISM “WHY DOES OSCE MINSK GROUP” REPITEDLY EXPRESS BAKU – YEREVAN CONTINUE TO ACCUSE EACH OTHER OF ATTEMTED INCURSIONS ON THE ARMENIAN – AZERBAIJANI BORDER RESULTING IN CASUALTIES???

    I SUPPOSE THE AZERI SERVICEMAN’S BODY LANDED IN THE ARMENIAN CAMP FROM THIN AIR???
    I SUPPOSE ONCE AGAIN THE MINSK GROUP OR THE WORLD WILL TURN AROUND AND SAY THE ARMENIANS ARE BARBARIC LIKE THE AZERIS FOR HOLDING THE DEAD AZERI SERVICEMAN’S BODY??? IN THIS CASE WHAT I ASKE THE MINSK GROUP OR THE AZERI’S WHAT OTHER CHOICE DO THE ARMENIAN FORCES HAVE??? THE OSCE MINSK GOUP HAVE REPETEDLY IGNORED REALITY, I WONDER WHAT THE VERDICT IS ON THIS OCCASION???

  3. joe said:

    Apparently the OSCE isn’t ready for peace either. When they state, “Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of a December 29, 2016 attempted incursion on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border resulting in casualties.” which purposefully avoids the correct naming of Azerbaijan FOR THE VERY INCURSION AND DEATH OF SOLDIERS, Yet purposefully goes out of its way to name Armenia as having to return an incursion infiltration dead Azeri soldier’s body, as a means of “humanitarian gesture”, and goes vague again by purposefully avoiding naming Azerbaijan as the very party that refuses to implement the St Petersburg agreements of monitoring mechanisms? Its the OSCE that prolongs this conflict. They are useless. Its the OSCE that makes it clear that its okay for the Azeri’s to continue the infiltrations and provocations because they will not be called out on it. Arm army to the teeth and again I hate to say it, prepare for war and cause major damage to the enemy if the enemy starts another war or provocation.

    Armenia needs to make clear right now: That the negotiations will start with the understanding of a free and independent Artsakh and THEN AND ONLY THEN will the final borders be negotiated. And that ‘lands returned now for some future referendum’ is fantasy.

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