VIENNA—International mediators from the US, France and Russia working to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict completed an assessment mission to the liberated Armenian territories surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on Thursday, a statement by the OSCE Minsk Group said Thursday.
The field assessment mission, organized by the OSCE Minsk Group, was conducted by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Ambassadors Bernard Fassier of France, Robert Bradtke of the United States, and Igor Popov of the Russian Federation. It also included “technical experts” from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
“The Mission provided an important opportunity for the Co-Chairs to meet with numerous people on the ground and familiarize themselves with the overall current situation in the territories, in all aspects, including humanitarian needs,” the statement said.
“The unprecedented participation of technical experts from the UNHCR allowed the Mission team to understand better the rights, within the framework of international humanitarian law, of all refugees and displaced persons in the region and the conditions now facing those living in these territories,” it added.
The week-long working trip concluded began on October 7 and concluded Thursday. The co-chairs announced their intention to “observe the humanitarian situation” in these territories in early September.
They then met separately on October 6 with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Serge Sarkisian to discuss the details of the mission. They also met on October 7 with the authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in Stepanakert.
In talks with Sarkisian, the troika promised to try to visit a medieval Armenian cemetery in the Azeri controlled Armenian territory of Nakhichevan destroyed by Azerbaijani authorities. They also pledged pay a similar visit to a small part of Karabakh’s territory controlled by Azerbaijan “in the next stage of the monitoring.”
According to Thursday’s statement, the Co-Chairs will work with the UNHCR experts to “compile the information gathered during their mission” and prepare an internal OSCE report to be “shared with all sides.”