Azerbaijan Is to Discuss the Karabakh Conflict with the OSCE Minsk Group

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The meeting of the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister with the Minsk Group co-chairs will take place in Geneva, on October 8. It is not yet clear whether the Armenian Foreign Minister will visit Geneva as well. An international mediation meeting will be held in Geneva on October 8 in connection with the armed conflict over Nagorny Karabakh the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday, October 7. The head of the department, Jeyhun Bayramov, will pay a working visit to Geneva to "meet with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and bring Azerbaijan's position on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict settlement to the attention of the other side," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said. The Minsk Group was created in 1992 aiming at defusing the Nagorny Karabakh conflict. It is co-chaired by Russia, France and the United States. Earlier, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that on October 8, in Geneva will be held negotiations on Nagorny Karabakh and on October 12, in Moscow. It is not yet clear whether Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan will also come to Geneva to hold separate talks with the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. The representative of the Armenian Foreign Ministry ruled out the possibility of a meeting between Mnatsakanyan and Bayramov. According to him, "you cannot negotiate with one hand while leading military operations with the other one." War in Karabakh The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated sharply on September 27, after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military operation aiming at regaining control of this region, inhabited mainly by ethnic Armenians. According to Yerevan's official figures, at least 340 people including dozens of civilians, have died since then but observers believe the death toll is actually much higher. Both sides accuse each other of shieling civilian targets. According to representatives of the unrecognized Nagorny Karabakh Republic (NKR), tens of thousands of civilians were forced to leave their homes, fleeing hostilities. Nagorny Karabakh unilaterally seceded from Azerbaijan in the 90s of the last century followed by an armed conflict that killed about 30 thousand people.