Joint Statement by the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, and French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, representing the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair countries, express support for the resumption of direct dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan under the auspices of the Minsk Group Co-Chairs, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Turan News.
The Co-Chair countries call on the sides to continue the dialogue between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan begun at meetings held in New York in September and Paris in November, as well as to continue contacts at the leadership level to promote a lasting and sustainable peace in the region.
The Co-Chair countries call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and provocative actions and to implement in full the commitments they undertook on 9 November 2020 and reconfirmed on 26 November 2021 in statements made by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, and President of the Russian Federation and other jointly agreed ceasefire arrangements. The Co-Chair countries call on Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue their engagement under Co-Chair auspices to make concrete progress on humanitarian issues — including, inter alia, detainees, demining, missing persons, voluntary return of displaced persons, and the protection of historic and cultural sites, and to work constructively to resolve other outstanding issues, such as border delimitation and demarcation and the restoration of economic and transportation links.
The Co-Chair countries also note with concern recent incidents on the non-demarcated Armenia-Azerbaijan border and reaffirm that the use or threat of force to resolve border disputes is unacceptable. The Co-Chair countries also remind Armenia and Azerbaijan of their obligation to comply with the requirements of international humanitarian law and urge the sides to lift immediately all restrictions on international humanitarian organizations accessing conflict-affected areas and populations.
The Co-Chair countries encourage the sides to welcome the Co-Chairs to the region as soon as possible to allow them to assess the situation on the ground first-hand, to make tangible progress in implementing humanitarian initiatives discussed at the meetings noted above, and to reach agreement on an agenda for future engagements. They also reiterate their strong support for the continuing work of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chair in Office (PRCiO) in the region and encourage the sides to cooperate fully with his efforts.
The Co-Chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group reaffirm their commitment to working with the sides to find comprehensive solutions to all remaining issues related to or resulting from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with their mandate in order to promote a secure, stable, prosperous and peaceful future for the South Caucasus region.