Minsk Group diplomats end visit to the region with an expression of concern over recent incidents along the frontlines.

The OSCE has issued a statement following the visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-Chairmen to the South Caucasus.

According to the statement the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Robert Bradtke of the United States, Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, and Jacques Faure of France) and Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk (Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office) traveled May 11-14 to Yerevan and Baku, where they met with Presidents Sargsian and Aliyev to discuss the most recent efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The statement adds: The Co-Chairs continued their discussions with the sides on how to implement the commitments made by Presidents Aliyev and Sargsian in their January 23 joint statement in Sochi, including to "accelerate" reaching agreement on the Basic Principles as a framework for a comprehensive peace settlement, to work on the mechanism to investigate ceasefire violations, and to develop humanitarian contacts. The Co-Chairs expressed their concern over recent incidents along the frontlines, and urged the sides to exercise restraint and refrain from retaliation. The Co-Chairs welcomed the sides' reaffirmation of their commitment to seek a peaceful settlement.

The Co-Chairs also discussed with the sides the development of confidence-building measures in the military and people-to-people spheres to enhance trust and strengthen implementation of the 1994 ceasefire. In addition, the Co-Chairs discussed the importance of assessing and preserving at-risk sites of Armenian and Azeri cultural and historical value, in order to protect the shared heritage of the region's peoples while negotiations continue toward a final and lasting peace.

The Co-Chairs plan to continue discussions with the Foreign Ministers of the two countries in the near future."

Commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment "The Minsk Group diplomats are desperately trying to remain relevant at a time when the peace process is clearly stalled, and with the danger of increased tension on the line of contact seperating Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. The diplomats are hoping to maintain some momentum around the negotiations until such a time as their political masters decide to get engaged again directly. The Russian leadership at the moment has its hands full with a number of domestic matters and neither the US nor France is willing to get involved further at this stage. So the visit was a holding operation with no signs yet of any new ideas."

source: commonspace.eu with www.osce.org

photo: President Ilham Aliev with the Minsk Group diplomats in Baku on 14 May 2012.

Related articles

Editor's choice
News
Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell tells the European Parliament that the situation in Afghanistan was critical, but the EU will remain engaged

Borrell underlined that the European Union will make every effort to support the peace process and to remain a committed partner to the Afghan people. "Of course, we will have to take into account the evolving situation, but disengagement is not an option.  We are clear on that: there is no alternative to a negotiated political settlement, through inclusive peace talks.
Editor's choice
News
Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

German diplomacy has been in the South Caucasus from the day after the three countries declared their independence in 1991. Germany was the first country to set up embassies in the region, but generally German diplomacy has been low-key – preferring to let others, namely France, and later the EU, to do the heavy lifting when it came to issues like supporting the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. This has changed recently. After the untimely intervention of French president Emanuel Macron in the process that was led by EU Council president Charles Michel in 2022, and given Azerbaijan’s refusal to negotiate in this framework because of what it claims is French bias towards Armenia, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in 2022 reluctantly persuaded to engage with the process directly, and join the Macron-Michel tandem. Nothing at first seemed to have come out of that, and German diplomacy got overshadowed by some missteps in Paris and Brussels, not to mention some awkward phrases of its own foreign minister when she visited the region last year. But it seems that behind the scenes, German diplomacy persisted. Earlier in February Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, travelled to Munich to attend the annual security conference, and on the margins had a long-awaited meeting, bilaterally and later with Chancellor Scholz. At the meeting concrete decisions were taken on follow-up, and thanks to the usual German efficiency the foreign ministers of the two countries were in Berlin on Wednesday (28 February) for detailed talks about the peace treaty. Most of the discussions were in the bilateral format, but there was also a meeting of the Ministers with their German counterpart. The talks continue today. It is the latest episode in a long saga, but not an insignificant one. Germany is a political and economic heavyweight, and its direct involvement may just be what is needed to get the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan across the line. At a time when other elements of European diplomacy appear not to be so effective the German intervention is also seen as saving the day for Europe, that needs to remain present and visible in the region.

Popular

Editor's choice
News
Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Berlin as German diplomacy emerges out of the shadows to save the day for Europe

German diplomacy has been in the South Caucasus from the day after the three countries declared their independence in 1991. Germany was the first country to set up embassies in the region, but generally German diplomacy has been low-key – preferring to let others, namely France, and later the EU, to do the heavy lifting when it came to issues like supporting the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. This has changed recently. After the untimely intervention of French president Emanuel Macron in the process that was led by EU Council president Charles Michel in 2022, and given Azerbaijan’s refusal to negotiate in this framework because of what it claims is French bias towards Armenia, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in 2022 reluctantly persuaded to engage with the process directly, and join the Macron-Michel tandem. Nothing at first seemed to have come out of that, and German diplomacy got overshadowed by some missteps in Paris and Brussels, not to mention some awkward phrases of its own foreign minister when she visited the region last year. But it seems that behind the scenes, German diplomacy persisted. Earlier in February Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, travelled to Munich to attend the annual security conference, and on the margins had a long-awaited meeting, bilaterally and later with Chancellor Scholz. At the meeting concrete decisions were taken on follow-up, and thanks to the usual German efficiency the foreign ministers of the two countries were in Berlin on Wednesday (28 February) for detailed talks about the peace treaty. Most of the discussions were in the bilateral format, but there was also a meeting of the Ministers with their German counterpart. The talks continue today. It is the latest episode in a long saga, but not an insignificant one. Germany is a political and economic heavyweight, and its direct involvement may just be what is needed to get the ongoing negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan across the line. At a time when other elements of European diplomacy appear not to be so effective the German intervention is also seen as saving the day for Europe, that needs to remain present and visible in the region.