Russian MFA talks expanding office of OSCE chairperson-in-office personal rep

Thu 12 Jul 2018 12:23 GMT | 16:23 Local Time

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The final decision regarding expansion of the office of the personal representative of the OSCE chairperson-in-office hasn’t been made yet, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a press conference July 12.

“In 2016, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia discussed steps aimed at stabilizing the situation in the conflict zone and creating atmosphere promoting advancement of the peace process,” she said, according to Trend.

“To this end, they agreed, in particular, to increase the number of international observers in the conflict zone. This topic was discussed during the subsequent contacts of the parties, including the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in Krakow in the beginning of this year, and an understanding was reached on the number of additional observers, their location, as well as a number of other related issues. However, the parties haven’t made the final decision on them yet.”

Zakharova noted that the first ministerial consultations will be held in the near future.

“Then, we hope, there will be more meetings, at which the parties will have an opportunity to consider a wide range of issues of settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including the issue of observers,” she added.

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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