Sahakian Warns Minsk Group Chairs about Azeri War Rhetoric

Minsk Group delegation visits Karabakh

STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)–President of Nagorno Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakian Saturday met with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and warned that Azerbaijan’s continued confrontational rhetoric posed a threat to the peace process.

Minsk Group Co-chairs Matthew Bryza (US),Yuri Merzlyakov (Russia) and Bernard Fassier (France) were in Stepanakert Saturday as part of their regional visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan. Also attending the talks were Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Georgi Petrosian and Andrzej Kasprzyk, the representative of the OSCE chairman-in-office.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Foreign Ministry reported that the sides discussed a wide-range of issues on the conflict resolution process including President Sahakian’s reiteration that the final resolution of the conflict would be possible only with the participation of Karabakh in the talks.

President Sahakian also noted that anti-Armenian propaganda and military rhetoric in Azerbaijan do not promote an atmosphere of mutual trust between the parties, and instead have a negative impact on the negotiation process and preservation of peace and stability in the region. He cited the Azeri violations of the cease-fire on March 4 in the Martakert region.

Sahakian, once again, stated that Karabakh supports a peaceful resolution to the conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minks Group and condemned Azeri efforts to remove the conflict from the Minsk Group’s mediation.The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic president also called for the establishment of direct dialogue with Baku.

The co-chairs shared the point of view with the Karabakh president and expressed their willingness to support the peaceful resolution of the conflict, noting that the participation of Nagorno Karabakh in the negotiation process was a matter of time.

“Participation of the Nagorno-Karabakh population in the negotiation process may be realized after coordinating several items in the negotiations,” the Russian Co-chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group Yuri Merzlyakov told the Azeri Trend news agency.

“Nagorno-Karabakh will become part of the negotiation process after the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan agree upon the basic principles of agreement addressed during Madrid talks,” Merzlyakov said.

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