OSCE Calls on Baku and Yerevan to Get Prepared for Negotiations

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The OSCE Minsk Group welcomes the de-escalation of the situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Minsk Group (MG) of the OSCE welcomes the stabilization of the situation on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan since July 16. The co-chairs of the group Igor Popov (Russia), Stefan Visconti (France), Andrew Schofer (USA) and Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk on Friday, July 24, called on the conflicting countries to prepare for serious negotiations to find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. “The co-chairs urge the parties to take advantage of the current reduction in active hostilities to prepare for serious substantive negotiations to find a comprehensive solution to the conflict. The Co-Chairs stress once more that in this difficult period it is extremely important to refrain from provocative statements and actions, including threats ... to civilians or to critical infrastructure,” the OSCE Minsk Group statement reads. OSCE calls to refrain from criticizing the Minsk Group The document notes that recent public statements criticizing the joint efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing states and seeking unilaterally to establish new conditions or changes to the settlement process format are not conducive to resuming a constructive dialogue. The Co-Chairs called on the parties to demonstrate political will to achieve a lasting peaceful settlement by refraining from maximalist positions, provocative statements and actions, and adhering to the ceasefire. The OSCE MG also confirmed that the principles and elements set out in the statement of the co-chairs of March 9, 2019 (welcoming the commitment of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the meeting under the auspices of the OSCE MG Co-Chairs) continue to form the basis of their mediation efforts. “The Co-Chairs are prepared to meet with the leaders or their designees at any time. The co-chairs also emphasize that the OSCE observers must return to the region as soon as possible,” the OSCE Minsk Group stressed. The situation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan remains tense The clashes on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border began on July 12 and lasted four days. In recent days, the situation has been relatively calm, but remains tense. The ceasefire between Armenia and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on the one side and Azerbaijan on the other was established in May 1994. The negotiation process is being mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created in 1992 to find ways to peacefully resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland and Turkey. The group is co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States.