STEPANAKERT (Combined Sources)—OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen crossed the line of contact between the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Azerbaijan, in the Aghdam direction, on their way to Baku to continue their shuttle diplomacy.
The co-chairmen, Russia’s Igor Popov, the US’s Robert Bradtke and France’s Bernard Fassier, also monitored the cease-fire regimen on the Akna-Barda road in the direction of Askeran, reported the Mediamax news agency.
They were leaving Stepanakert, where they met with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic president Bako Sahakian, who told the co-chairmen that Azerbaijan’s policies ran “counter to the efforts of the mediators” and was “hindering not only resolution of the conflict, but also creation of an atmosphere of trust,” added Mediamax.
The president also highlighted Azerbaijan’s continued cease-fire violations, their deliberate politicization of the humanitarian element of the conflict, as well as threats to down aircraft from the Stepanakert airport.
Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, meanwhile, slammed the Armenians as he chaired a cabinet meeting in Baku on Tuesday. “The Armenian side is using every opportunity to drag out negotiations,” he said, according to Azerbaijani news agencies, reported RFE/RL.
“Their goal is to control the occupied Azerbaijani territories as long as possible and turn the de facto situation [on the ground] into a de jure situation in the future,” he claimed.
The co-chairmen are scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following their most recent trip to the region.