Meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents took place in constructive atmosphere - STATEMENT
“The President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held Summit in Geneva, Switzerland. Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian and Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov attended the meeting, which was organized under the auspices of the Co-Chairs of OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America). Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Andrzej Kasprzyk also participated in the Summit,” said the statement.
The meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere, the statement noted.
“The Presidents agreed to take measures to intensify the negotiation process and to take additional steps to reduce tension on the Line of Contact. The Co-Chairs expressed their satisfaction with these direct talks, which took place after a long interval. They remain ready to work with the sides on mediating a peacefully negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” said the statement. “As a next step, the Co-Chairs will organize working sessions with the Ministers in the near future.”
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in December 1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.
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