OSCE Chairman to Visit in April

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–In preparation for the upcoming visit of Organization for Security in Cooperation in Europe’s chairman in office–a delegation of Norwegian officials arrived in the region over the weekend for talks on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.

The OSCE Chairman in Office Gnoud Vollebek’s visit is scheduled for April.

Vollebek’s representative Anje Kaspertchik–Norwegian foreign secretary in charge of the Caucasus Rune Oskheyn and Norwegian national security representative on Russian affairs Gnoud Khouge met with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Arkady Ghoukassian Sunday.

The Karabakh presidential press service announced that Ghoukassian–once again–reiterated Karabakh’s willingness on securing peace in the region–based on the principles of mutual concessions and dialogue.

Ghoukassian also expressed hope that the OSCE Chairman in Office’s upcoming visit would enhance the progress of peace talks for the resolution of the conflict.

The Norwegian delegation also met with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic foreign minister Naira Melkoumian Sunday–to discuss the OSCE Minsk Group-proposed peace plan–taking into consideration Azerbaijan’s rejection of the proposal.

The Karabakh foreign ministry press service reported that the talks emphasized the need for mutual understanding and trust between the sides to the conflict–with the aim of outlining concessions–as well as addressing humanitarian issues–without further politicization of the process.

In discussing these issues–Melkoumian stressed the importance of direct dialogue between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan. A day earlier–the Norwegian delegation met with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Defense Minister Samvel Babayan–with whom issues of international security guarantees for Karabakh were discussed.

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