Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia Elmar Mammadyarov and Edward Nalbandian discussed the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Hamburg on December 8 evening in the presence of foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries (Russia, US, France), Hikmat Hajiyev, spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, told APA on Dec. 9.
The conflict settlement was discussed during a working dinner, which was held at the invitation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, added Hajiyev.
Earlier, before the meeting in Hamburg, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault proposed to hold a meeting there in the “3+2” format (Russia, France, the US, Azerbaijan, Armenia).
Hajiyev added that unfortunately, the meeting in the “3+2” format was not held as a result of Armenia’s destructive policy and its avoiding the negotiations.
During the dinner, the sides also had an exchange of views on the continuation of talks and the issues on the 2017 agenda, he noted.
Earlier, Tigran Balayan, spokesman for Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, tweeted that the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers held a meeting in Hamburg with the participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.