US co-chair says he hopes meeting of Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs will create a basis for presidents’ meeting

US co-chair says he hopes meeting of Azerbaijani, Armenian FMs will create a basis for presidents’ meeting
# 19 September 2017 15:35 (UTC +04:00)

US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Andrew Schofer has said he hopes the upcoming meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in New York will create a basis for a meeting of the two countries’ presidents.

“I’m looking forward to meet with my Russian and French colleagues and the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers,” Schofer told

He noted that the US, as a Minsk Group co-chair, remains committed to the work with parties on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“The main policy in the format of Minsk group co-chairmanship is that a fair settlement must be based on international law, which incorporates the Helsinki Final Act and the principles of non-use of force, territorial integrity, equality and self-determination of peoples. However, undoubtedly, the responsibility for peace lies upon the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” the co-chair added.

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.

Nagorno Garabagh