STEPANAKERT (PanArmenian.net)—The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group of mediators traveled to Armenia and Artsakh this week, where they met and held talks with a number of high level Armenian and Artsakh officials regarding the Karabakh conflict, in light of the escalated levels of fighting taking place between Armenian and Azeri forces.
Artsakh’s President Bako Sahakian met with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs Igor Popov (Russia), Pierre Andrieu (France), James Warlick (U.S.) and other officials on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Stepanakert.
Artsakh’s Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan and the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk and other officials partook in the meeting.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met with the Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Yerevan a day earlier.
Nalbandian called the attention of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs to the fact that after the Jan. 27 statement by the Co-Chairs and the Feb. 7 joint statement by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and the Co-Chairs calling on Azerbaijan to adhere to its commitment to peace, Baku continued violations of the ceasefire, provocations and unacceptable rhetoric.
Nalbandian said that in reality the Azerbaijani leadership aims to undermine the results of peace negotiations.
“Only when agreement on basic principles is reached, and Karabakh approves it, will it be possible for Azerbaijan, Karabakh and Armenia to elaborate a comprehensive peace deal,” said Nalbandian.
On Thursday, Feb. 19, Armenia’s Minister of Defense Seyra Ohanian received the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.
The sides expressed concerns about the escalation of tension at the “line of contact” between the conflicting forces over the past two months and agreed on the need to apply confidence-building measures. The sides discussed several possible solutions to help build confidence and prevent incidents on the frontlines, and Seyran Ohanian expressed the Armenian side’s unconditional commitment to implement such solutions.