The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stéphane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) welcome the joint announcement by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on a humanitarian ceasefire and call on the sides to execute their commitments in full, a statement published on the organization’s website declared.
The Co-Chairs and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk, are in intensive discussions with the International Committee of the Red Cross on the modalities and logistics of the return of remains and detainees as soon as possible. We call on the sides to provide all the necessary security and logistical assurances on an urgent basis.
The Co-Chairs remain actively engaged with the parties to facilitate their efforts to reach agreement on concrete parameters of the ceasefire and to conclude intensive substantive negotiations to reach a settlement on the basis of the agreed upon principles and format.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Albania’s Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Edi Rama, welcomed the humanitarian ceasefire.
“We need stability, both on the ground and in the process led by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs,” Rama said. “The agreement reached in Moscow overnight by Armenia and Azerbaijan puts us on the path towards the resumption of substantive negotiations in the agreed format,” Rama added.
The increasing human toll of the fighting had been of particular concern, Rama said, and in this regard, the humanitarian pause to exchange prisoners of war, other detainees, and the remains of those killed in the hostilities is an important step.
“The Co-Chairs and my Personal Representative remain fully engaged with the sides, and are ready to ensure every effort is focused on achieving a peaceful negotiated solution of the conflict,” Rama said.