Lavrov: OSCE MG co-chairs can only help create conditions for dialogue on Karabakh conflict

Tue 19 Feb 2019 12:30 GMT | 16:30 Local Time

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The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs can only help create conditions for dialogue on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint press conference with the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak, Trend reports Feb. 19.

"The co-chairs from Russia, the US and France work closely together. They have already met with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and new contacts are being prepared with foreign ministers," Lavrov said. "Considering that the new government in Armenia has been formed quite recently, it will certainly take some extra time to understand how intensively and how deeply the settlement process can be developed at this stage. I repeat, once again: the co-chairs and the OSCE can only help create conditions for dialogue, but decisions, of course, must be made within the dialogue, within the direct negotiations between the parties."

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 Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

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