Statement by the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group
YEREVAN, 29 March 2017 - The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France and Richard Hoagland of the United States of America), together with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, traveled to Baku (March 11), Yerevan (March 27) and Nagorno-Karabakh (March 28).
The main purpose of the Co-Chairs’ visits to the region was to receive the most current detailed political and military information on the Line of Contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, to discuss the implementation of agreements reached at 2016 Summits in Vienna and St. Petersburg and to address the next steps toward a settlement.
The Co-Chairs met with the Presidents and Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia and the de facto authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh. They also visited territories around Nagorno-Karabakh. In their talks, the Co-Chairs reiterated their deep concern over recent incidents along the Line of Contact, calling on the sides to exercise restraint in their rhetoric and in their actions. The Presidents laid out their positions on the Co-Chairs’ proposals to strengthen the ceasefire and to avoid further escalation of hostilities, particularly in light of the Novruz and Easter holidays. They expressed their commitment to continuing the negotiation process toward a political solution.
In their talks, the Co-Chairs stressed the essential importance of continued support for Ambassador Kasprzyk’s mission and its expansion. The Co-Chairs also emphasized their conviction that respect for the ceasefire is of the utmost importance for building an atmosphere of trust to enable further negotiations.
The Co-Chairs will soon travel to Vienna to brief the members of the Minsk Group.