Moscow wel­comes in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of ne­go­ti­a­tion process on Karabakh con­flict

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Rashid Shiri­nov

Moscow wel­comes the in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of the ne­go­ti­a­tion process on the set­tle­ment of the Karabakh con­flict and is in­ter­ested in its ef­fec­tive­ness, said Grig­ory Karasin, Rus­sian State Sec­re­tary and Deputy For­eign Min­is­ter.

He made the re­marks in his re­cent in­ter­view with In­ter­fax.

The deputy for­eign min­is­ter also said Rus­sia wel­comes the forth­com­ing meet­ing of the Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian for­eign min­is­ters, which will be held in the sec­ond half of Jan­uary 2018.

“Rus­sia sup­ports the de­sire of Baku and Yerevan to seek com­pro­mise so­lu­tions to the con­flict on the ba­sis of ex­ist­ing ground­work,” said Karasin. “For our part, to­gether with our part­ners co-chair­ing in the OSCE Minsk Group, we will con­tinue to pro­vide me­di­a­tion as­sis­tance to the peace­ful set­tle­ment of the pro­tracted con­flict.”

The deputy FM fur­ther noted that the com­mon po­si­tion of Rus­sia, the U.S. and France was clearly for­mu­lated in a joint state­ment by the heads of del­e­ga­tions of the three coun­tries at a meet­ing of the OSCE par­tic­i­pat­ing states’ for­eign min­is­ters, held in early De­cem­ber in Vi­enna.

Karasin also re­minded that af­ter a long break, with the as­sis­tance of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, the Ar­me­nian-Azer­bai­jani sum­mit was held in Oc­to­ber in Geneva.

“It was agreed at the sum­mit to in­ten­sify the ne­go­ti­at­ing process and take ad­di­tional mea­sures aimed at re­duc­ing ten­sion on the line of con­tact of the con­flict­ing par­ties,” he said.

In ad­di­tion, Karasin noted that on the side­lines of the OSCE Min­is­te­rial Coun­cil meet­ing in De­cem­ber in Vi­enna, the FMs of Azer­bai­jan and Ar­me­nia dis­cussed key is­sues of the con­flict set­tle­ment for which con­sen­sus was not yet reached.

“Pos­si­ble ac­tions that con­trib­ute to the de-es­ca­la­tion of the sit­u­a­tion in the con­flict zone were con­sid­ered. Con­crete pro­pos­als re­lated to the ex­pan­sion of the OSCE ob­server mis­sion were con­veyed to the sides,” said the diplo­mat.

The deputy FM added that the Azer­bai­jani and Ar­me­nian for­eign min­is­ters agreed to con­tinue con­ver­sa­tion on these and other is­sues of the Nagorno-Karabakh set­tle­ment in Jan­uary 2018 with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the three me­di­a­tor coun­tries.

The con­flict be­tween the two South Cau­ca­sus coun­tries be­gan in 1988 when Ar­me­nia made ter­ri­to­rial claims against Azer­bai­jan. As a re­sult of the en­su­ing war, in 1992 Ar­me­nian armed forces oc­cu­pied 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan, in­clud­ing the NagornoKarabakh re­gion and seven sur­round­ing dis­tricts. More than 20,000 Azer­bai­ja­nis were killed and over 1 mil­lion were dis­placed as a re­sult of the large-scale hos­til­i­ties. The 1994 cease­fire agree­ment was fol­lowed by peace ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Ar­me­nia still con­trols fifth part of Azer­bai­jan's ter­ri­tory and re­jects im­ple­ment­ing four UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on with­drawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and sur­round­ing dis­tricts.

Rus­sia, along with the U.S. and France, is a co-chair coun­try of the OSCE Minsk Group es­tab­lished to bro­ker a peace to the Ar­me­nia-Azer­bai­jan Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict.

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